The Bears are now poised to make even further improvement in 2014 with most of their players returning to the fold and a promising crop of newcomers arriving.
“We’re returning every player, except for one,” Cambridge coach Chip Flemmer said. “We have some incoming freshmen who have really jumped in and are on the varsity squad. We definitely have some good players in our program right now.”
Cambridge enjoyed its breakthrough season in 2013 with a young, but talented group of players who pushed the Bears into their inaugural postseason berth.
“It came down to, we had some good pitching and the girls were still young,” Flemmer said. “They definitely had a great season, making it to the Sweet 16 of the state playoffs. It was one of those things that the girls were so young, they didn’t quite know how important those games were. They were just young and they were having fun going out there and playing and they were successful. I think the younger players were playing so well, because they didn’t realize some of the circumstances they were playing under.”
In addition to having an extra year of experience under its belt, Cambridge also enters the new season with a team that is strong both offensively and defensively.
“Pitching is still a strength,” Flemmer said. “We have real solid bats up and down the lineup, which is definitely nice to have. We have speed at the top of the lineup. We have some quality young ladies.”
The Cambridge softball program continues its rapid growth, with junior varsity and freshman teams to go along with its varsity squad.
“This year, we have three teams,” Flemmer said. “There are not too many schools that have freshman, JV and varsity teams, so we have a lot of interest in Cambridge High School softball. It’s exciting that we’ve been able to add a third team.”
Sophomore pitcher Keara Napoli, senior centerfielder Lauren Stewart, senior third baseman Savannah Dixon and junior shortstop Lily Valeo are among the key players for Cambridge.
Once again, the Bears will play in a challenging Region 7AAAAA that includes Class AAAAA semifinalist Creekview and perennial powerhouse Sequoyah as well as a number of other teams who Flemmer said has the potential to do well.
“You never know who to look for, because you have one or two girls move in and that can completely change the whole dynamic of the region,” Flemmer said. “We’re trying to [take] everybody serious, because you don’t know what you’re going up against. Sequoyah and Creekview – they’re quality teams.”