A season preview for the Centennial softball team heading into the 2016 season
2015 record: 11-6 county, 11-9 overall
Coach: Katie Grimm
Key players: Seniors Emily Allen (C) and Emily Davis (2B); junior Celina Jensen (3B).
What you need to know: With just 12 players on the roster, it's a smaller group this spring for Eagles — but it's a talented one. After winning five more county games a year ago than the year before, Centennial is definitely moving in the right direction.
"For me it's all about culture, and for the longest time we were not winning many close games. We have been making strides each and every year to change that losing culture, focusing on staying together and doing the little things," coach Katie Grimm said. "We have now set that precedent for ourselves where we believe we are winners."
Allen in the centerpiece, coming off a first-team all-county season where she posted a .511 batting average, 37 RBI, 31 runs scored and had 15 extra-base hits. After moving around the infield the last two years — playing first base and shortstop — she is now going to be the team's starting catcher.
Davis missed most of last of last season with an injury, but is back to serve as the voice of the infield at second base. Jensen, meanwhile, is fearless and talented as a defender at third to go along with a strong bat (.471 average, 27 RBI and 21 runs scored).
"These girls live and breathe softball," Grimm said. "They are so dedicated and committed to their team, and when they play you can see how much they love this sport. All three of these girls make their teammates better because of their level of enthusiasm and work ethic they bring to the field every day."
Overall, Grimm expects the team's infield to be its strength considering that is where most of the returning nucleus is.