Coach: Steve Coppes, first year.
2013: 16-8, 7-4 Midland Athletic League (fifth).
Returning letterwinners: Seniors Amy Martin (OF); Holly Bordner (C); Kristen Bowerman (1B/DH); Alyssa England (IF/OF); Cameil Ruffing (OF); Rachel Bauman (P/IF). Junior Caitlin Sauers (3B). Sophomores Paige Reichert (P/IF/OF); Kayleen England (SS/OF).
Others: Sophomores Mykayla Ruffing (OF); CJ Linkey (2B/OF). Freshman Hannah Martin (P/IF/OF).
Outlook: It may be Coppes first year at the helm but he's very familiar with the program, spending the last five prior seasons with the Tigers in assistant or JV capacities.
So he knows what to expect when it comes to his team. Especially when it comes to his battery: Bauman and Bordner. Bauman was second in the league in strikeouts, mowing down 145 hitters in 123 1/3 innings. She was fourth in ERA with a 2.72.
There's never a brouhaha between the two.
"They're best friends on and off the field. They get together and throw together in the offseason," Coppes said. "They do cardio together before practice. They're dedicated, hard working kids."
The two know each other well enough that when the staff doesn't get the pitch called in, there's no delay.
"We set out to call every pitch, but she'll call her own pitches when needed," Coppes said. "Some games when they get in a groove, we'll let them do it themselves."
The Tigers may not rely as heavily on Bauman as much this year, as Coppes wants Reichart and Martin to log some innings to "take some innings off Bauman's arm, which should help her out."
Bowerman returns for her third season at first base, which matches the service time of the other corner infielder, Sauers. Martin and Linkey figure to platoon at second with England handling shortstop.
The other half of the Martin/Linkey platoon will play in left field with the Ruffing sisters handling the rest of the outfield.
"We've got a real good attitude and a good work ethic," Coppes said. "Our corner infield is real good. Up the middle is where we're inexperienced."
Live experience is at a premium.
"We have six seniors, but not a lot of varsity starting experience," Coppes said. "This year, being young up the middle and not having much varsity experience, we want to be competitive every day and get better every day. That starts with practice every day. Hopefully at the end of the season, we'll be really competitive and win some games."
If that occurs, Coppes will meet his team's goal for the league.
"I think it's getting to be a solid and competitive league. New Riegel, Mohawk and St. Joe ran the table last year. North Baltimore will be good this year too," Coppes said. "Those will be the top contenders in the picture. With youth and experience, probably somewhere in the middle of the pack. We'll be competitive every day and probably somewhere in the middle of the pack at the end of the season."