Backing up Minton will be Emily Hayden and Benge said they are both “very capable.”
“(Emily) will be pitching to give relief for Kylie to help keep us fresh for a run at the end of the season,” Benge said.
One area of concern for Bethesda last season were fielding errors, something the Patriots seem ready to remedy this year.
“Defensively, we have really picked up some speed and some really strong arms,” Benge said. “We feel that we have the opportunity to cut down on our errors from last year and that will make us a much better team defensively.”
Combined with what Benge calls a “much more balanced lineup” offensively and one that does not “really have a weak spot,” the Patriots should have no problem scoring runs.
“I think the key for us will be patience. If we just play one out at a time, I think this team will find great success,” Benge said. “Bethesda has a team that really gives us a solid base to build on for several years to come. My coaching staff and I are really excited for this year and honestly what we could build on for the future.”
It was a year of heartbreak for the Cascade softball team last season, coming in fourth in the county championship and second in the West Central Conference despite a fantastic 24-5 record. Compounding those disappointments, Cascade fell to eventual state champion South Putnam 3-2 in a sectional final that went 12 innings.
“Seems that many people are putting a lot of expectations on us,” Cascade coach Don Helmick said. “I have told the girls to ignore this. We lost three seniors and another starter due to an injury. It’s safe to say we lost quite a bit in those four. To duplicate last year’s success for us will be tough, but I know (we can do it) if the kids work hard and understand saying they want something to happen doesn’t mean it will. They have to do the things it takes for it to happen.”