Stricker is in her 37th year as the only Flashes softball coach, but for the first time with a team that has nine seniors. The returning players hit all of the team’s 18 homers last year.
“I think the players understand I’m here for the long haul,” Stricker said. “Certainly the consistency of coaching is an absolute plus for the program. I’m well-driven, hard-nosed, and I have high expectations. I think they know that, and they know they must be students first and athletes second.”
This year’s Flashes have power and pitching. The seniors include outfield slugger Delainey Thompson, .415, 33 RBIs, five home runs; slap-hitting center fielder Elana Horn, .403, 31 hits, 25 runs; second baseman Raegan Sparks, .448, 27 hits, 33 RBIs, four homers; and power hitters, Taylor Wilson, .383, 18 hits; and Dani Wyse, .265, 18 hits.
Junior shortstop Claire Gilliland, .451, 32 hits, 29 RBIs, five home runs, could move to the leadoff spot.
“We want our power hitters up there any time the game is on the line,” Stricker said. “Any ball that comes to them and is in their wheel house, they’re going to hit it.”
The entire pitching staff is back with senior leaders Wyse, 6-0, 0.91 ERA; Shelby Herron, 10-5, 1.49 ERA; and Kayla Selzer, 3-1.