Apr. 8—Veteran coach Jack Foster likes the makeup of this year's Flathead High softball team which, like everyone else, has been cooling its cleats for the better part of two years.
"I have five starters back from two years ago," Foster, now in his fifth season guiding the Bravettes, said. "I have a good nucleus back."
Four seniors and a junior — outfielder Macy Craver — lead the way. Karissa Comer, a varsity player since her freshman year, pitches and plays first base. Ilyssa Centner pitches and plays shortstop.
Allyssa Cadwalader plays second and some outfield; Brianna Morales holds down third base for Flathead.
Foster added senior outfielder Alyssa Poe-Hatten and junior catcher Neveah Lacroix are moving into bigger roles.
The group won just two games in 2019 and there are a lot of unknowns coming into today's opener against Class A Libby, at KidSport at 5 p.m. But Foster likes what he sees, and notes he has some promising freshmen, led by Kaidyn Lake and Laynee Vesser, coming on.
"They're a really good group of kids," he said. "Offensively I think we're going to be pretty solid. Both our pitchers play other positions — one thing about this game is you only go as far as your pitchers.
"And we've been outside more than I have ever been, in 24 years of coaching. We actually got a full week outside on dirt before we've played a game."
Foster led Post Falls to a Class 5A Idaho state title in 2010. Flathead won a State AA title in 2003 and narrowly lost in the 2004 championship, but hasn't been to state since 2007.
This just might be the year Flathead gets to the upper echelon of the Western AA, where Glacier, Helena Capital and Missoula Sentinel have all but put down roots. It would be timely, since Kalispell hosts the State AA tournament May 28-29.
"That's our goal," Foster said. "We want to be there."
Friday the Bravettes play Great Falls High and Great Falls Russell at Kidsport at 3 and 5 p.m.