Lady Dawgs on prowl for postseason berth, no bones about it

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AZIA UMPHREY, fielding the ball during action earlier this week, was an all-confernce first-team catcher for Mission/Arlee/Charlo last season. The junior returns to anchors the Bulldogs defense behind the plate. (Photo courtesy of Christa Umphrey/Forward Photography)

Last season, the 2018 rendition of the Mission-Arlee-Charlo (M-A-C) Lady Bulldogs (15-10) came within one game of a berth to the State BC tournament. The Lady Bulldogs finished the regular schedule in second place of the North sub-division (7-1), splitting their season series with Plains-Hot Springs, but losing the tie breaker on run differential.

At the Western BC Divisional, M-A-C advanced past Loyola in the first round, but thereafter suffered a bout of bracket blues when they were relegated to the consolation rounds by eventual champion Florence, followed by Plains-Hot Springs staging a late inning rally that ended their season.

The Lady Bulldogs graduated a quintet of contributors in Kalista Clark, Sierra Hutchin, Summer DarcAngelo, Ashley Tanner and Haley Crawford. But they return their main pitching battery of all-state, twice all-conference (1st-tm 2018, 2nd-tm 2017) senior hurler Tomi Brazill (15-9, 104.67IP: 85K,44W) and all-conference (1st-tm) junior catcher Azia Umphrey. Supplementing the circle will be returning junior hurler Shyanne Reum (0-1, 2sv, 32.33IP: 17K,11W), while Umphrey (6.67IP: 11K,2W) and sophomore utility Liev Smith could also be called upon to throw some innings in relief.

Other returning starters or significant seasoned contributors include shortstop Frankie Smith, outfielder Olivia Garland, outfielder/infielder Taylor Olsen, infielder Courtney Mitchell and outfielder Aubrey Doty. Lending further depth to the roster will be the return of senior infielder/catcher Caitlyn Sorrell (VB a-c 2nd-tm) along with supplemental contributions from swing players Kayden Burke, Aspen Bauer and Anneliese DeGrandpre. Others may be called upon to contribute either in the field or at the plate as the season progresses.

Smith led the team in runs scored (44), hits (41), extra base hits (17), RBIs (32) and batting average (.554). Umphrey was right behind her with a baker’s dozen extra base hits, second most team hits (33), second most runs scored (37), second most stolen bases (30) and is the second leading generator of RBIs among returnees with two dozen last season. Brazill was third-leading batter on the team (.382), placed third for team hits (29), led the team in singles (25) and stolen bases (40). Olsen held the fourth best batting average (.367) last season.

Head coach Susan Weaselhead embarks upon her 10th season at the helm of the M-A-C Lady Bulldogs, aided by volunteer assistant coach Shane Reum. Filling vacant shoes left behind by departed graduates with a comparable caliber of glovework or plate proficiency will be the first order of business. Thereafter, subsequent goals revolve around extending the schedule. Weaselhead is optimistic about the upcoming season as the Lady Bulldogs cultivate a team focus oriented around “staying positive, working hard with the goal of not only making state, but placing.”

The M-A-C Lady Bulldog softball program has thus far acquired a pair of divisional titles (2011,2015), a pair of state BC fourth place (2011,2013) finishes and a trio of state BC third place (2012, 2015, 2017) trophies. Silver and gold have they none, but they endeavor to rectify that situation in the not too distant future. M-A-C was originally scheduled to open their softball season at Plains on Thursday, April 4, but that has been shifted several weeks to April 23 when snow levels are anticipated to be more cooperative. The Lady Bulldogs are slated to host a doubleheader home opener on April 4, against visiting Eureka, contingent upon field conditions and weather.

Returnees:

T.Brazill Spr2018MHSA – 76ab: 29H, (3)2B, (1)3B, 5RBI, .382avg, 32R, 40-41SB, 1SH, 19BB,

A.Umphrey Spr2018MHSA – 78ab: 33H, (8)2B, (1)3B, 4HR, 24RBI, .423avg, 37R, 30-33SB, 8BB, 8HB

S.Reum Spr2018MHSA – 52ab: 16H, (1)2B, 7RBI, .308avg, 12R, 3-4SB, 6BB, 2HB

F.Smith Spr2018MHSA – 74ab: 41H, (10)2B, (3)3B, 4HR, 32RBI, .554avg, 44R, 25SB, 9BB, 5HB

O.Garland Spr2018MHSA – 35ab: 11H, (2)2B, (1)3B, 1HR, 11RBI, .314avg, 13R, 2SB, 3BB, 5HB

Tay.Olsen Spr2018MHSA – 30ab: 11H, (1)2B, 4RBI, .367avg, 11R, 2-3SB, 5BB, 2HB

K.Burke Spr2018MHSA – 17ab: 4H, (1)2B, (1)3B, 1HR, .235avg, 2R, 4BB

C.Mitchell Spr2018MHSA – 5ab: 1H, (1)2B, 2RBI, .200avg, 3R, 2SB, 1HB

Graduates:

S.Hutchin Spr2018MHSA – 44ab: 15H, (3)2B, 8RBI, .341avg, 11R, 5SB, 4BB, 1HB

H.Crawford Spr2018MHSA – 75ab: 25H, (4)2B, 2HR, 26RBI, .333avg, 17R, 14-16SB, 7BB, 2HB

S.DarcAngelo Spr2018MHSA – 61ab: 18H, (6)2B, (1)3B, 25RBI, .295avg, 29R, 11-12SB, 1SF,12BB,3HB

A.Tanner Spr2018MHSA – 50ab: 14H, 3HR, 18RBI, R, 11-13SB, 11BB, 1HB

K.Clark Spr2018MHSA – 19ab: 5H, (1)2B, .263avg, 10R, 9SB, 1SF,13BB,2HB

Tor.Olsen Spr2018MHSA – 33ab: 9H, (1)2B, 12RBI, .273avg, 8R, 7-9SB, 4BB,1HB

stat specs courtesy of M-A-C coaching staff

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