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DailyTidings.com
  • PREP SOFTBALL

    Grizzlies aim for consistency

    Youthful Ashland High softball team to learn varsity game on the job
  • The Ashland High softball team may be young, inexperienced and light in the depth department, but head coach Cheri Kuykendall doesn't want to dwell on the obstacles the Grizzlies will face this season.
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    • AHS Softball
      Head coach: Cheri Kuykendall.
      2012: 4-21, lost in 5A play-in round.
      Top returners: Hannah Thornton (sr., IF); Teresa Lehman (soph., C); Christina Kuykendall (soph., SS); Savannah Tobrock ...
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      AHS Softball
      Head coach: Cheri Kuykendall.

      2012: 4-21, lost in 5A play-in round.

      Top returners: Hannah Thornton (sr., IF); Teresa Lehman (soph., C); Christina Kuykendall (soph., SS); Savannah Tobrock (sr., OF).

      Up next: Roseburg at Ashland,

      Saturday.
  • The Ashland High softball team may be young, inexperienced and light in the depth department, but head coach Cheri Kuykendall doesn't want to dwell on the obstacles the Grizzlies will face this season.
    Instead, she sees opportunities. Six of the 10 players — that's right, the Grizzlies barely have enough to field a team — are underclassmen, and most will spend this season learning on the job. That may not be a recipe for immediate success, but Ashland is trying to build for the future.
    "We're pretty young and inexperienced, but there's a lot of talent," Kuykendall said. "They're going to get better every day."
    Barely a week into the season, Ashland has already shown flashes of potential — see Thursday's 22-3 win over Illinois Valley — and given fans a reason to keep the faith. But the Grizzlies are certainly a work in progress. They will usually start a sophomore pitcher in Grace Lenthe who, as Kuykendall put it, is "still trying to get a feel for what's what." And the Grizzlies (1-4) have two sophomores in the infield — shortstop Christina Kuykendall and first baseman Hannah Thornton — and another behind the plate in Teresa Lehman.
    So miscues are to be expected. The Grizzlies committed seven errors Saturday in a doubleheader double-loss to Mazama, three two days prior versus Illinois Valley and three during last Tuesday's season-opening loss at Henley.
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