By Ryan Butler

A losing record in 2012 and a young roster for 2013 might be enough to intimidate the Newsome High School softball team. Instead, the Wolves are seeing this season not only as an opportunity to improve but a chance to get back to their winning ways of years past.

“They had a rough season last year and nobody really expected anything this year,” said head coach Autumn Dunn. “They have a point to prove that they are talented, that they should have done better last year and that they should be taken seriously. “

Early season games have already proved Newsome will be a team to be reckoned with. The Wolves opened the season with a 3-0 record, combining to score opponents 36-0. The team’s one loss was a 3-2 nail-bitter to a talented Wharton squad.

“As a whole, it was great that they didn’t give up,” Dunn said. “They fought down two outs in the bottom of the seventh when they could have given up. It speaks a lot about the team. “

Like their tough 2012 season, Newsome is using this early-season loss as motivation. Dunn said her team improved during the Wharton loss and is looking forward to another shot at their district rival when they meet again later this season.

The team’s sole loss allowed the Wolves to better understand some of their weaknesses, mostly communication and defensive lapses. All three of the Wildcats’ runs were unearned, something Dunn said could easily be corrected in future games.

Leading the communication improvements is sophomore catcher and co-captain, Livia Chandler. In addition to controlling the infield defensively, Chandler will lead the way catching for talented pitchers Bree Schinella and Claire Feldman. Versatile co-captain Kylie Brown and freshmen outfielder Brooke Leistl will lead the way offensively for the Wolves at the plate and on the base paths.

With talented juniors, sophomores and even freshmen filling Newsome’s roster, the Wolves are expecting improvements from last year’s struggles. More importantly, they have a new attitude to take a losing record one season and turn it into a post-season run the next.

“They have the desire this year. They want it. I think that’s a big difference from last year,” Dunn said.

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