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.
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 theyre always tough teams, and were 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.
Were a very young team, Glasson said. Even with our seniors were still young in experience, because a lot of our seniors dont 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. Were 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
Its going to be a beautiful complex for us, Glasson said of Broadway Field, which is being used for softball for the first time.
Were still getting used to it, she added, shortly into the season. Were 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.
Were sliding more, and the girls are more aggressive on the turf, so I like that. Weve also been outside the whole (preseason), and thats a huge advantage for us. The biggest difference is that well be much more aggressive on the bases, and well 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.
Coach: Jen Glasson, 2nd year
2012: 1-23 (0-15 Cowapa)
All-League Returners: Allison Bussert, Rosario Kuhl
All-League Losses: None