Over the course of the past few years, the North Decatur softball program has been gathering the pieces to be consistently competitive and successful season after season.
With three standout seniors and a mix of youth and experience, first-year head coach Beth Glomb looks forward to seeing the hard work over the offseason pay off.
“We’re going to surprise a lot of people,” said Glomb, who noted that North’s goals are to compete for a conference championship and pursue a sectional title.
Glomb takes over for longtime coach Sam Field, who stepped down last year.
Glomb graduated from Waynesville High School, where she played four years of softball. She played second and third base at Franklin College before coaching volleyball, and spending time coaching basketball at Southwestern (Shelby).
Glomb said North’s success starts with the seniors and the leadership of veteran underclassmen. She praised seniors Anna Wallpe, Ali Wallpe and Myra Steele for being coachable and having a team-oriented approach.
“They are great senior leaders who do what is asked,” said Glomb. “They are examples for the team of what to do in practice. They come ready to play every single day.”
The Lady Chargers started the season Tuesday against Union County, hosting the Patriots at the Decatur County Softball Complex.
North lost two seniors to graduation in outfielder Kyra Spears and infielder Lindsay Nobbe.
The current seniors will return to familiar spots this spring. Steele will take her position on the mound as a three-year varsity starter. Anna Wallpe will staff first base, while Ali Wallpe will play third. All three seniors bring skilled bats to the lineup, while the Wallpes will be feared for their power.
As vocal as the senior trio have been, Glomb credited a handful of underclassmen for their leadership.
Junior centerfielder Anna Schwering returns with more than a year of varsity experience. She brings athleticism, a strong bat, solid defense and a consistent approach to the game.
“Everyone looks to her for leadership. She has senior leadership qualities,” said Glomb of Schwering, North’s lone junior.
She knows where the ball needs to go. She can see the game and where it needs to go.”
Sophomore Mary Hughes will have a second year behind the plate as catcher. Hughes also brings power and hustle to the offense.
“She’s an athlete,” said Glomb. “I wish everyone on the team had the work ethic she has. Mary comes in every day ready to work and she knows what needs to be done. Talking will be a key point. She is the one that everyone looks to, to know what to do with the ball.”
The most solidified position on the Charger roster is the pitching, Led by Steele and sophomore Kiley Stier, a second-year varsity pitcher.
All three outfielders are returning. With Schwering in center, sophomores Morgan Nobbe and Blair Kramer will play alongside her. Freshman Emily McCorkle will see time in the infield, along with Stier and Steele when the other infielder pitches.
Morgan McKinney will play a utility role, along with playing some innings in the circle.
Kaitlin Herbert is another sophomore slated to play outfield.
Along with McCorkle, freshmen Ally Gauck and Mariah Lozier are also on the varsity squad.
Veteran coach Jeff Steele has been working with pitchers, while coach Phil Nobbe works with outfielders and defense.
“I am so thankful he’s here working with them,” said Glomb of Steele.
Glomb said North is emphasizing fundamental defense and continuing to play the game the right way.
“We’re going to focus on the fundamentals,” she said.
Contact Nick Gonnella at (812) 663-3111, x7003; firstname.lastname@example.org.