When your team finishes the previous season ranked 41st out of 41 teams, you hang on to whatever positives you can as you enter the new year.

For the Seaside softball team, those positives would be two all-league returners, a 2-5 start to the current season, and a new field to play on.

The Gulls have abandoned their old field (Wahanna Field, aka “The Swamp”), and will now play their home games on the artificial turf at Broadway Field.

THE LEAGUE

What can you say? Cowapa League softball is one of the toughest at the 4A level. Banks, Yamhill-Carlton, Scappoose and Tillamook (not necessarily in that order) have been the traditional top four for the last several years. And now Astoria is poised to make a move into the top three.

“Banks, Yamhill … they’re always tough teams, and we’re hoping that we can compete with them as we grow as a team,” said Seaside coach Jen Glasson, in her second season with the Gulls. “Scappoose, Tillamook, Astoria and us – I think if we work hard, we can have some great games against each other.”

THE PLAYERS

“We’re a very young team,” Glasson said. “Even with our seniors we’re still young in experience, because a lot of our seniors don’t have many games under their belt.”

On the plus side, senior pitcher Stephanie Osterlund “has been working in the gym since November,” Glasson said.

Sophomore Allison Bussert “is a key player at catcher,” she added. “And (senior) Alex Habecker is an amazing leader in the infield, at first base,” where the Gulls also have sophomore Shelby Miller. “We’re lucky to have two strong freshmen in Paige Ideue (left field) and Whitney Westerholm at shortstop.

“It will take a while for everything to come together, but we are light years ahead of where we were last year.”

THE NEW FIELD

“It’s going to be a beautiful complex for us,” Glasson said of Broadway Field, which is being used for softball for the first time.

“We’re still getting used to it,” she added, shortly into the season. “We’re still working on our old field at Wahanna, because we will play a lot of games on dirt this year, so we want to prepare on it.

“We’re sliding more, and the girls are more aggressive on the turf, so I like that. We’ve also been outside the whole (preseason), and that’s a huge advantage for us. The biggest difference is that we’ll be much more aggressive on the bases, and we’ll be better at going after grounders.”

SEASIDE SOFTBALL 2013

1 Lucy Swenson OF Fr.

2 Paige Ideue OF Fr.

3 Stephanie Osterlund P Sr.

4 Emma Bergin RF Sr.

5 Whitney Westerholm SS Fr.

6 Alex Habecker 1B Sr.

7 Alexandra Calder RF Fr.

8 Roni Darling 2B Sr.

9 Shelby Miller 1B So.

10 Allison Bussert C So.

11 Rosario Kuhl CF Sr.

12 Jordan Dotson P So.

13 Brittany West 3B Fr.

14 Brittany Dodson Util. Jr.

SEASIDE SOFTBALL

Coach: Jen Glasson, 2nd year

2012: 1-23 (0-15 Cowapa)

Playoffs: None

All-League Returners: Allison Bussert, Rosario Kuhl

All-League Losses: None

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