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The Ellensburg High School softball team is heading into the 2020 season with a collective chip on its shoulders after finishing 11-11 (8-5 CWAC) last year and missing the state tournament.

The Bulldogs are coming back with the majority of their roster intact, losing only seniors McKenzie Egan and Larrisa Snyder.

Head coach Scott Gant said the team has the potential to improve upon last season, and that they are in a good position to win games with a squad of returning players with varsity game experience under their belts.

“I’m really looking forward to this year,” Gant said. “The girls have been around us, they kind of know what to expect now and I think we can go on a roll.”

Gant said out of the problems the Bulldogs endured last season, managing a losing game was the worst. Many of the games they gave up were lost in one inning and the team seemed to have an issue with keeping itself in the game when it was down.

On the technical side, Gant said they need to find a way to be more aggressive from the mound as well as the batter’s box. He wants the girls taking more early opportunities when batting to avoid getting behind in the count so often.

This year’s senior lineup consists of returners Lacey Buchhols, Morgan Olin, Morgan Rogers and Katie Picha.

Picha said her goal for the team this season is to get some redemption from last year.

“I feel good about the team this year, we’ve got some strong varsity returners and pitchers with more varsity experience,” Picha said.

Morgan Olin said she thinks the Bulldogs will be a force to reckon with on defense. She said the returning pitching squad will be an advantage and that it will be good to have the same infielders working together.

“We all understand how each other plays so it won’t be too different from last year,” Olin said.

EHS will start their season on the road, taking on the West Valley High School Rams in a double header starting at 3 p.m. on March 17.

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