By Rob Tetro
David Meeker inherited a relatively inexperienced team when he was named interim Hannibal girls’ varsity softball coach.
Fully grasping the state of his team, Meeker feels it’s important for his team to have simple goals for the upcoming season.
A key goal the Lady Warriors have this season is to become more of a fundamentally sound team, especially when it comes to base running. It’s also important to Meeker and his team to learn how to play together.
Perhaps most importantly, Hannibal hopes to be a team that benefits from a strong work ethic in 2014.
The Lady Warriors are a young team this season, with only a few players returning from last season’s team. However, Meeker said the younger players on his team have a lot of potential.
Hannibal’s softball team features numerous multi-sport athletes. Given how active his team has been throughout the school year, Meeker feels that his team was in decent physical condition when practices began in early March.
He wanted to dedicate a lot of time developing softball related skills in preparation for the season. Meeker was pleased his players were physically able to handle all the developmental work that was expected of them.
Meeker said his team did a nice job of handling some of the adjustments that come with being an athlete who competes in winter and spring sports. Developing softball fundamentals often involves the development of arm strength and hand-eye coordination for hitting.
Though his team needed to work on each area at the beginning of practices, Meeker credits his team for being able to handle the adjustments that come with going from a sport such as basketball to softball.
Currently, most of the players are physically prepared to begin the season. Meeker does point out that a few of his younger players aren’t as physically prepared for the season as his more experienced players.
Seniors Samantha Bowers, Malana Scott and sophomore Megan Norris will serve as the Lady Warriors team captains this season.
Hannibal softball will have a challenging time of it this season, playing in a league with powerhouse teams from like Westhill and Solvay. Also, Meeker expects to see many weeks throughout the season where his team plays three or four games a week.
The Lady Warriors return an impressive pitcher in junior Hailey Dunsmoor, but Meeker suggests she won’t be able to do it all alone. It will be key for Hannibal to build depth behind Dunsmoor in order to handle such a challenging workload.
It is possible the Lady Warriors could take a few lumps this season, but Meeker feels the experiences they have in 2014 will be good for them in the long run.
Meeker expects to have a team that will have many strengths to build off of. First and foremost, his team is dedicated to developing its fundamental skills. Led by Dunsmoor, Meeker feels his teams’ pitchers and catchers have a lot of potential.
He also said he expects the top of the lineup to do a decent job at getting on base and into scoring position this season.