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2008 Spring Training: Oakton Softball

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Oakton pitcher Jasmine Smith

<b>Coach: </b>Pat Purcell, 3rd season

<b>2007 Record:</b> 6-18

<b>Key Losses:</b> INF Tara Wheatley, OF Liz Borders

<b>Key Players: </b>1B Morgan Lamon, SR; C Holly Schonberger, SR; RF Kailey Flanagan, SR.

<b>Quotable: </b>“We kind of threw her into the lion’s den last year.” – Head coach Pat Purcell on starting Jasmine Smith, a freshman last year, at pitcher.

<b>Outlook:</b> In his first two years as the skipper for the Oakton softball team, Pat Purcell had two wildly different years. In his first year, Purcell inherited a solid squad, led by four-year starting pitcher Jessie McCarrick. The Cougars went 18-8, won the Concorde District and advanced to the state tournament. Last year, the Cougars won six games and missed out on the region tournament.

“Hopefully last year was a good learning experience for the kids and they got something out of it,” said Purcell.

The Cougars sent freshman Jasmine Smith to the circle, last year. Smith gained valuable experience in her first year and will be joined by another freshman, Mackenzie Lynn, as the Cougars’ starting pitchers.

“We kind of threw her into the lion’s den last year,” said Purcell of Smith. “She has gotten a lot stronger.”

Smith was one of three freshman starters for the Cougars last year.

“Hopefully last year was a good learning experience for the kids and they got something out of it,” said Purcell. “They got a lot of varsity experience, which a lot of freshman don’t get. It is hopefully going to pay off.”

The Cougars will field a much older squad this year, with six seniors and four juniors. Senior Morgan Lamon, a first-team all-region first baseman, will captain the team, joined by senior catcher Holley Shonberger and senior Kayley Flanagan.

“Those are the three that we are looking at to get us through,” said Purcell.

Last year, Lamon led the Cougars in nearly every major offensive category.

As team goals, each player will write down three team goals and three individual goals. Purcell has an idea of this year’s top team goal.

“[We were in the] state tournament in 2006. That is where we want to get,” said Purcell. “They are all hungry.”