Pitching should be strong, and the infield looks solid. The area where the Arrowhead girls softball team is going to have to develop will be the outfield.
That's the situation where coach Emily Martin finds herself as the 2017 gets under way.
"We pretty much have all of our infielders back, and we also have our starting pitcher and catcher back," Martin said. "But losing Claire Brzenk to graduation leaves us with a big hole in center field. She started for us all four years in center and also batted leadoff. So we have to find some kids to step up and fill the outfield spots. We're looking forward to having a good season."
In 2016 the Warhawks tied for third in the Classic 8 Conference with Kettle Moraine as both had 8-6 marks. Catholic Memorial and Muskego tied for the championship at 10-4. Overall, AHS finished the season with a 13-10 record, ending the season with a loss at the WIAA sectional.
Junior right-hander Mimi Bradley will be the No. 1 pitcher for the Warhawks, and she's expected to be one of the top pitchers not only in the conference but in this part of the state. She's pitched for the Warhawks the last two years.
"Mimi should have a big year for us," Martin said. "She's one of the hardest workers I've ever coached. Mimi has improved every season."
Junior catcher Sydney Rogowski also is back after starting last season. The Bradley/Rogowski combination gives the Warhawks a solid start to their defense.
Around the infield, returning players include junior Megan Morrow, senior Jenna Nyhouse and sophomore Mackenzie Rudy. Outfielders back from one season ago are senior Sarah Martinez, junior Taylor Olivier and sophomore Grace Salaja.
"We'll probably shuffle some players around between the infield and outfield to find our lineup," Martin said. "This is a good group of girls. Hopefully we can get some help from some of the new girls who will be joining the team."
Bradley not only had a solid year pitching but had a brilliant season at the plate. The right-handed hitter finished the year with a .500 mark, one of the best batting averages in school history. Rudy also was hot at the plate last season as she batted .333 as a freshman.
"This team will be a little different than some of our teams from the past," Martin said. "Offensively, we're going to have to find ways to manufacture runs."
A total of 55 kids turned out for the first practice March 13.