Sandy Douglas enters her 28th year as head coach of Mount Union and will have one of her most experienced teams with her this season.
All but two starting players return from a season ago that went 21-20 overall and saw them earn a berth in the OAC tournament.
Leading the way will be a trio of seniors, outfielders Marissa Earl (Massillon/Washington), Kristen Gromes (Navarre/Fairless) and pitcher Rachel McAninch (West Jefferson/West Jefferson) who all have earned All-Conference honors during their careers.
McAninch brings much experience to the pitching circle for the Raiders and will be looked on to limit opponent's runs. Last season, she was a workhorse as she pitched the second most innings in the conference (138.2) and had the third most strikeouts (98). She was named first Team All-OAC in both 2010 and 2011 and was selected as the OAC John Wells Pitcher-of-the-Year and OAC Robert Jordan Rookie-of-the-Year in 2010.
Earl and Gromes will be looked on to continue the success they had in the OAC tournament as both were named to the All-Tournament team last season and led the team in many statistical categories including runs (36), hits (42), doubles (7), triples (6), RBI (32), walks (21), stolen bases (8), average (.353), on base percentage (.469) and slugging percentage (.613).
Freshmen Andi VanSickle (Loudonville/Loudonville) and Megan Okuda (Gibsonia, Pa/Pine-Richland) top the list of newcomers that are expected to play a major part this season. The Raiders start the when they head South for its annual spring break trip March 10-15, where it will compete in 12 games at the Rebel games in Kissimmee Florida.
- Fans will be able to listen LIVE AUDIO of six of the 12 games from Florida while seven of the 12 will feature a LIVE stats game tracker ... Selected other games throughout the season will feature both LIVE AUDIO and LIVE STATS - for all the links log on to the schedule page at http://athletics.mountunion.edu/sports/sball/2012-13/schedule