Mason softball coach Brian Castner recently told his team it had a
couple of options when the time arrives for the Comets to open its
inaugural season in the Greater Miami Conference. The Comets, who the state semifinails in 2007, will get a good sense of where they are this spring
as they play three consecutive home games against GMC opponents to
start the season.
Mason softball coach Brian Castner recently told his team it had a couple of options when the time arrives for the Comets to open its inaugural season in the Greater Miami Conference.
Castner said either the Comets could make an immediate impact or it could struggle against what the conference has to offer.
The Comets will get a good sense of where they are this spring as they play three consecutive home games against GMC opponents to start the season.
“We hope to put the ball in play,” Castner said. “…We are trying to find a lineup and defensively try to hold up the offensive power of the GMC. I think we are going to make good contact right now.”
Mason, a Division I state semifinalist in 2007, hosts Middletown in the season opener March 31 at 4:30 p.m.
“I told my girls and the program that the league is the best in Ohio,” Castner said. “They will learn quickly because we have Middletown right off the bat.”
Mason (17-15 in 2007) moves from the Fort Ancient Valley Conference Buckeye division into the GMC this spring. The Comets were 7-3 and second-place in the Buckeye division.
The Comets entered last year’s postseason with an 11-14 overall record, but had a six-game winning streak before it lost to Elyria 2-1 in the state semifinals in Ashland.
Castner said the squad lost some key players to graduation, but returns five starters, including four seniors.
“Things are going well,” Castner said. “The foundation that group left last and from the years in the past is one of hard work and the team chemistry is paying off right now. We are hoping to stick to that stuff and do what we are doing.”
Among the returning players are sophomore shortstop Christin Miller (first-team all-FAVC who hit about .400), junior outfielder Erin Roark (second-team all-league) and senior third baseman Katie Wills, who has committed to play college softball at Ashland.
Another all-league player, junior outfielder Brittani Tibbs (second-team all-FAVC), won’t return as her family relocated out of state.
“I think we will have a really strong team this year,” Wills said. “We more or less ‘reloaded’ instead of having to replace a lot of players. Our team was really deep and we expect to be tough.”
Castner said the improbable postseason run was a direct result of the team playing for its school and wanting to prove its talent to the Cincinnati area.
“I think it had to do with everything, including team chemistry and character,” Castner said.
Wills said going to state last season was definitely a highlight of her high school career.
“Every athlete dreams about going to state,” Wills said. “It is one of those once-in-a-lifetime accomplishements that meant a lot to me and all the other players. I am hoping that lightning will strike twice and we get another chance this year.”
The Comets will also go out of state during the regular season April 11-12 when it plays in the Gibbs Invitational in Tennessee. Castner said the Comets will play state champions from Alabama and Tennessee.