High school spring sports preview: Venable raises bar for 2012 softball squad

By Ian Waldron

Edmonds-Woodway softball coach Mike Venable says he was pleased with his team’s eight-win season in 2011, but he has expectations for an even better result this year.

With only two seniors and one freshman on the squad this season – the remaining eight being juniors – his expectations are pretty reasonable.

“I was pleased with our performance last year as my core group of sophomores showed continued improvement [by] winning eight games,” Venable said.

But the abilities showcased by his younger players in 2011 only makes 2012 even more demanding. The Warriors made it to the district playoffs last season, and that experience is only going to be in their favor.

“This year I am looking for more improvement and consistency due to increased experience,” Venable added. “We are hoping to be over .500 and in the top three in our division.”

Coach Venable has a lot of strong pieces in motion that make for a promising outlook for the upcoming season. The three captains – junior catcher Cassady Orstad and seniors Michelle Rumpel and Sydney Daniel – will have to lead this year’s squad.

Unfortunately, Rumpel has already been sidelined with an ankle injury that will keep her out most of the year.

“Since we have such a small team, we need to avoid injuries,” says Venable. “We will need to improve our offense over last year, [we’re] hoping to find the gaps more with line-drives.”

Venable’s squad finished fourth in the league last year with a similar roster, but he says experience and defense will play a big role if they are to succeed in 2012.

“We have good defense but need to be more consistent. If we can do those things we should have successful season.”

The Warriors are 0-1 overall in Wesco South play so far this season after dropping the league opener 6-2 to Mountlake Terrace. Venable’s squad will travel to face Kamiak Friday at 4 p.m.

Sports contributor Ian Waldron is a 2006 graduate of Edmonds-Woodway High School.

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