Orange to lean on experienced staff this spring


The Olentangy Orange softball team returns a ton of experience in the circle and several key cogs at the plate, giving coach Mason Robinson confidence her squad can compete in the always competitive OCC-Central Division.

“We have a very competitive conference with a lot of great pitching … that’s what makes the chase for a conference championship exciting,” Robinson said. “Softball is a game that any team can win on any day and, from top to bottom, our team has been committed all offseason … they are ready to compete.”

Robinson, a former standout in the circle herself, is particularly excited about the Pioneer pitching staff as Anna Wilming, Morgan Powell and Sofie Terlesky are all back after starting various games last year. Powell and Wilming shouldered the bulk of the load, but Robinson said their are plenty of capable arms in the program.

“One of my favorite things about our team is that we have a pitching staff,” she said. “It’s exciting to have four pitchers that will all see time. They all have different strengths, which has been fun to work with.

“Our pitching staff has really been working on spinning and spotting the ball, which will come in handy against the caliber of teams we play.”

Offensively, the Pioneers have plenty of pieces as well. The first two hitters in last year’s order — Ali Rubal and Morgan Woycitzky — are gone, but Riley Jestadt, who hit third most of last season, is back to anchor the lineup. Jestadt, an all-district and all-conference selection, was an extra-base hit waiting to happen last spring, finishing with multiple 5-RBI games. Wilming, the school’s record holder for home runs, hit cleanup last year.

Other key returners include Meghan Riley, Kensi Steele, Kennedy Reed and Madi Yanka.

“Our lineup is very flexible right now,” Robinson said. “We have a lot of working pieces that could all come into play. I am super excited about all the hard work our girls have put in, which is what makes writing a lineup very difficult.

“We saw a lot of success at the plate last year,” Robinson added. “We’ve been working on being able to capitalize on our hits by stringing along runs to go with them.”

Defensively, Robinson said her team should be fine as long as it stays focused on the little things.

“Defensively, we want to take care of the ball,” she said. “We want to make sure that we are making the small plays all of the time. We’ve been working a lot on situations and being able to take care of the micro moments when we are on defense.”

The Pioneers kick off the regular season Tuesday, April 5 with a non-league showdown against visiting Dublin Scioto.

Olentangy Orange’s Morgan Powell leads an experienced pitching staff into the 2022 season. Orange’s Morgan Powell leads an experienced pitching staff into the 2022 season. Gazette |File

By Ben Stroup

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