Putting aside the obstacle of replacing those players, Helmick still has big aspirations for his team.
“Our first goal for the season is to win a conference,” he said. “Cascade has never won a conference in softball. That will be a good place to start.”
Winning a conference title will take leadership and the Cadets are looking to senior Brandyce Sallee and junior Kellie Mink. Both were voted team captains this season for the Cadets.
Taking over pitching for the Cadets will be Mink and Kate Breedlove.
“Kate and Kellie both have started games since their freshman year at the varsity level,” Helmick said. “They both pitch year-round and have really worked hard in the offseason. They both have multiple pitches and upper 50, low 60 speed.”
Defensively, Cascade must replace a shortstop, first baseman, and two outfielders. No small task to be sure, but Helmick said he believes the team can make the adjustments and he hopes to “get less errors and make plays” from the group he’s putting on the field.
Sallee, Mink, and Morgan Burch anchor the Cadets offensively and each hit multiple homeruns last season. Also, the Cadets bring back a lot of hitters that had high on-base percentages last season.
“Time will tell,” Helmick said about the Cadets’ hitting. “It’s a lot easier hitting off a 40-year-old coach who can’t throw, than in a game situation with someone that can throw with accuracy and speed.”
In the end, Helmick believes Cascade’s success this season depends upon a few things and he hopes the girls can pull together for another great year.
“Getting along, hitting, fielding, believing in one another, playing the game as a team for themselves, and just playing the game to the best of their ability,” he said.