Prep preview: Lynnwood softball team relying on experience, depth

Lynnwood returns an experienced team that includes seniors Jessica Gott, Jasmin Edwards and Erica Gott (left to right). (Photos by David Pan)

By David Pan/Lynnwood Today editor

If Lynnwood softball coach Matt Rockne is trying to solve a puzzle, it sure looks like he’s got all the right pieces for the upcoming season.

The Royals are coming off a tough 2013 campaign in which they went 7-15 overall and went two-and-out at the district tournament.

Injuries to key players forced him to put some players in positions they weren’t necessarily comfortable with, Rockne said.

So a key to 2014 will be staying healthy but with a roster of 13 players, all of whom are expected to see action, Lynnwood should be able to weather injuries a little better.

Seven players are back, including five seniors. Twin sisters Jessica and Erica Gott, both seniors, should see plenty of time pitching along with freshman Dasia Lester. Jessica Gott pitched all but eight innings last season. Rockne is hoping to mix it up more this year.

Jessica Gott will be one of three pitchers will use this season. Twin sister Erica Gott and freshman Dasia Lester also will see action at pitcher.
Jessica Gott will be one of three pitchers will use this season. Twin sister Erica Gott and freshman Dasia Lester also will see action at pitcher.

“We’ll see who’s got the hot hand,” he said. “We have to throw a good mix of all three and keep teams off guard with all three. It’s a good problem to have.”

Senior Jasmin Edwards was injured last year but is healthy and will bring speed to the lineup and strong defense in centerfield.

Rockne is happy to have senior Meagan Crabtree back after she took last year off. Crabtree earned all-league honors as a sophomore and figures to be one of the Royals’ stronger hitters.

Desiree Graham, the lone junior, will play second base and some shortstop when Erica Gott is pitching. Freshman Madison Morgan takes over at third base.

“We’re really solid one through nine on defense,” Rockne said.

The same could be said for the offense.

“It’s a solid all-around lineup,” Rockne said. “Whoever is hitting well is going to see the most innings. I have no concerns on offense.”

Edwards and Lester both are fast and Crabtree, Erica Gott, Celeste Angell and Morgan give the Royals some good power.

The seniors – Edwards, Erica and Jessica Gott, Angell and Crabtree – all provide leadership in their own unique ways, Rockne said.

“It’s nice to have five seniors seeing action,” Rockne said.

Rockne added that he hopes the softball team will use the girls basketball’s third place finish at state for inspiration.

“We’re super excited and seeing a renewed enthusiasm,” Rockne said. “We’re hoping to build off the girls basketball team.”

Lynnwood’s Celeste Angell waits for the pitch.

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