Park Hill appears set to stick with a youth movement and hope to make big strides after last year’s disappointing season.
With no starters back in 2015, Park Hill went 4-24, which included 13 shutout losses. Three of the victories came in Suburban Conference Red Division play, including a doubleheader sweep of Ruskin by a combined score of 32-1.
Ali Ball, now graduated, and sophomore Peyton Morehouse split the pitching duties and were the only two players to earn postseason honors for Park Hill last year. Both were utility selections, including Morehouse making the All-Class 4 District 16 team.
Morehouse will now be the presumed top pitcher and top returning player for the Trojans.
Jackie Qualls, Park Hill’s new coach, sees the majority of starters as being freshmen and sophomores. Josie Heckman (outfield), Kirsten Waldon (outfield) and Alexa Lashbrook (catcher) join Morehouse as sophomores who started last season, while junior utility player Carley Ramsey, junior outfielder Gracen Santoyo and senior infielder Sarah Werner also return to the starting lineup.
Miranda LaMunyon (shortstop) and Jessie Binckley (infield) could crack the starting lineup in their freshmen season.
“These players are very athletic and bring a lot of upside,” Qualls said. “Our keys to success will be how quickly our young players can learn on the fly and elevate their level of play. We have high expectations of these players and are excited for the season.”