The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

High School Sports

August 20, 2012

Joplin softball ready to start season

Shally Lundien, new head softball coach at Joplin High School, believes the Eagles will field a solid ballclub this season.

The bottom line is that Joplin has a good mixture of veterans and new talent, Lundien said before its practice on Monday.

“I believe we can hold our own,” Lundien said. “We’ve been able to put the ball into play. We have two pitchers with experience.

“But we need to strengthen our defense,” Lundien said. “We need to fine-tune our mechanics.”

Lundien, assistant principal at Joplin South Middle School, was named coach following the resignation of Kirk Harryman after a successful run. Her assistants are Bobby Stackhouse and Randi Russell.

Previous coaching experience for Lundien, a Carl Junction High School graduate, includes the 2009 and 2010 seasons at Carthage. She secured her undergraduate degree from Missouri Southern — starring in softball for the Lions — and has master’s degrees from Pittsburg State and Arkansas State of Jonesboro.

The Eagles open the campaign with three games on Friday in their Paige Neal/Christina Freeman Tournament at the Joplin Sports Complex. Their games are against Nevada at 10 a.m., Seneca at 11:45 and Columbia Rock Bridge at 3:15 p.m.

Lundien believes the five Eagles with extensive playing time from last season are seniors Kelsey Gould, Haley Mason and Krystal Schulze and juniors Jessica Greninger and Kristen Taylor.

Lundien, an All-American at Missouri Southern both on the field and in the classroom, said before the workout that competition still was strong at several positions.

An example is at catcher, Lundien said, with sophomore Ashlie Green and freshman Kenzie Goswick battling for the nod.

Three freshmen are in the mix at first base — Mikaela Cox, Tamarah Mascher and Miranda Sanders.

Mason and two sophs — Chantel Heistand and Jennifer Schulze (Krystal’s sister) — are competing at second base.

Tyler or freshman Courtney Shryock are the current leaders at shortstop, Lundien said.

Gould, Green and Salena Perez, a junior, are in the mix at third base.

Lundien lumped together the outfield candidates. They include Krystal Schulze, Tyler and Greninger and two more returnees in junior Alivia Plassman and senior Caitlin Williams. Also, sophs Shantel Beck and Clara Gillum and Cox are in the hunt.

Mound candidates, in addition to Gould and Greninger, are Cox and Mascher and two more frosh in Jenessa Pasimio-Field and Michaela Sennett. The hurlers are right-handers, Lundien noted.

The staff has been working with 26 players on the varsity/junior varsity level, Lundien said.

Completing that group are freshmen middle infielders/outfielders Cortney Krolman and Brooke Utley, freshman catcher Adrienne Myers, sophomore outfielder Paige Kussman, freshman outfielder Nichole Campbell, who’s injured, and freshman first sacker Tish Quattlebaum.

The Eagles, perennial contenders for Ozark Conference honors, open in the league by visiting Springfield Kickapoo at 4:30 p.m. on Monday at the Cooper Complex.

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