Young, but experienced, Indians ready for playoff push
CAMBRIDGE, N.Y. — They might be young, but a keyword this season for the Cambridge softball team is experience.
"We're a young team, but we have a lot of experience," said Cambridge coach Gerald Clifton. "A lot of our underclassmen got a ton of varsity experience last season and that helped them develop quicker and become better players, so we are younger then most but we are as experienced as most teams in our league."
A bright young star returning for her second year is sophomore pitcher Miranda Seacord, who is the Indians' top pitcher and overall best player.
Seacord will head up an Indians pitching staff with incoming freshman Gabbie Woods, a very good young left hander that will give Cambridge a great 1-2 punch this year.
"When you have a ace like Miranda you always know you're going to be in any game, so the fact that we have two now with Gabbie is a big strength for us," Clifton said. "Now we can give Miranda some rest and move her around the field a bit, which will improve our defense and both girls can not only pitch but can hit too, so that's another big advantage for us."
The Indians also will have a formidable offense to go with it.
The only two seniors on the team, Hannah VanDeWater and Courtney Davis, will anchor the Indians offense with catcher Victoria Dupuis adding some pop at the top of the lineup.
"We have a lot of potential to be a very good team offensively this year," VanDeWater said. "Coach has really helped us become better hitters at the plate and understand how to go about facing certain pitchers."
Junior Mattie Clifton will also add power in her first year as a starter as the team's clean up hitter.
Going into the season, hitting was the team's biggest weakness, but the offense showed no weakness in a season-opening 32-0 win over Berlin.
"We're getting there and the girls are doing a better job of hitting against slower pitching," Clifton said. "Hitting was the biggest thing as team that we wanted to improve in this season and it was good to see the girls hit the ball well in our first game against Berlin."
Base running is also a huge factor and with a lot of speed on the bases on their roster this season, Clifton said it will be a major strength for the team giving the Indians the potential for big innings all year. With that potential to be a very good team this season, the Indians feel that they are more than ready to make a run in the Class C postseason.
"Our goal from the start is to make the playoffs and compete in the Wasaren League," Clifton said. "The hard work the girls have put from the offseason has really paid off here to start the season and I see that the team has a lot of confidence in themselves to reach the next level this season."
The Indians are scheduled to host their home opener on Monday against Greenwich.
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