About 13 years after she pulled on a Montezuma-Cortez High School softball uniform for the last time, former Lady Panthers star player Brittney Whiteman is set to lead what she expects will be a talented team this season.
Among the top players in the group will be junior pitcher Presley Frost, who pitched in a team-high 16 games last season. Also figuring to anchor the pitching staff will be senior Taylor Comisky, who has looked impressive during early season practices.
Leading the Lady Panthers’ offense will be senior shortstop Morgan Short, who batted .500 last season and drove in 10 runs. Also figuring to produce runs for the Panthers will be junior twins Alexis Cornett and Alyssa Cornett, who combined to drive in 40 runs last season.
“This team is made up of a lot of upperclassmen and that is really going to help,” Whiteman said. “Last year, they finished (8-11-1) overall and went to regionals, so they’ll have that experience under their belt. I think that these girls can really do something.”
While Whiteman admitted that competing in the Class 3A District 5 league is always difficult, she emphasized that her players competed against several league opponents over the summer and performed well.
That summer practice, combined with the arrival of three talented freshman and the development of some of the team’s upperclassmen appears to have the Lady Panthers in the perfect position to win games this fall.
“We have a lot of talent, and this is a team that can really do something and go far this year,” Whiteman said. “This is my first year, and of course I want to win. The team is capable of winning, and even though it’s going to be a tough schedule, our opponents will get us ready for the postseason.”
Although the Lady Panthers have less than two weeks of official practice under their belts, they will hit the field for the first time this weekend when they face off against Meeker High School at the Cortez Middle School softball field.
Among the toughest games on this year’s schedule will be two contests against perennial powerhouse Rifle, which will take place at home on Sept. 29, and a game against Palisade High School, which will take place at home on Sept. 18.
This team is made up of a lot of upperclassmen,” Whiteman said. “They played a lot of summer ball, and what they worked on this summer is going to carry into the season. I’m very excited to see what they can do.”