A season preview for the Long Reach softball team heading into the 2016 season

2015 record: 3-14 county, 5-16 overall

Coach: Melissa Boardman

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Key players: Senior Isa Carunungan (P); junior Stephanie Moy (CF); sophomore Rachel Jacavage (SS).

What you need to know: The record may not completely reflect it, but the Lightning have been making huge strides in terms of being competitive in the county the last couple years. There are seven returners from last year, all of which are expected to start. Coach Melissa Boardman is hoping that experience, combined with some exciting young talent, will lead to even better results this spring.

"(The seven returners) are all great role models for the younger girls … they will learn a lot from the seniors," she said.

Carunungan is a returning second-team all-county player, who is not only the team's ace in the circle but also an accomplished hitter. She hit .483 a season ago with 11 extra-base hits, 16 RBI and 16 runs scored. Jacavage was right behind her, posting a .476 average as a freshman and scoring 21 runs.

Finding some consistency at the plate around them is one of the keys.

"We have pitching, catching and field. We need to be a lot more consistent with hits and stringing them together to get some big innings," Boardman said. "One or two hits and a run every couple innings can't keep happening for us. We have to work together and attack the strikes."

Moy is part of the reason the defense is so solid, as she leads the outfield in center and has tremendous range. She also will look to be a spark near the top of the line-up.

Three freshmen — Sayla Phillips (P/3B), Hailey Ramberg (C) and Kamryn Walker (LF) — are on the varsity and all will play key roles.

"We have worked so hard the past five years to get to this stage and I am hoping the girls take full advantage of all the skill that we have this year," Boardman said.

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