Bulldogs battle mix of graduation holes, returning experience, as 2020 softball season nears

High School Softball Local Sports

With the season opener coming up on Monday, August 31st at Albany, the Trenton Lady Bulldog softball program is putting the pieces together for a group they hope returns to the top of the Grand River Conference over the next six weeks.  While not as severe in numbers as the 2019 class that led the program to a runner-up Class 2 finish in their final year, the graduation losses hit at key positions this year, as all-GRC catcher Lexi Whitaker and pitcher McKayla Blackburn will need to be replaced.  Maci Moore, one of the premier power hitters in the state, returns for Trenton, in addition to a large group of players that enter their second year of starting experience this fall.

Also back for Trenton, in his second year as the head coach of the Lady Bulldog program, is Joel Hultmann, who is encouraged by the offseason work done by pitcher Jenna Reeter, the anticipated replacement for Blackburn in “the circle”:



One of the biggest questions to be answered this fall will be how effective the lineup will be in protecting Moore and provide her with runners on the bases when she bats, in turn, preventing opponents from “pitching around her”.  With Whitaker’s graduation, the Lady Bulldog lineup, around Moore, is expected to flip to more contact and speed, and less of the long-ball threat:



Numbers in the Trenton program are down slightly, but very manageable for Coach Hultmann and his assistant Kameron Cool, with 17 young ladies on the squad the opening day of practice. Concerning the on-the-field product, the amount of improvement shown by the now second-year starters will go a long way in determining where the Lady Bulldogs end up by mid-October:



Some of the marquee events on Trenton’s softball schedule, following the opener at Albany, will be an early-season showdown with the defending Grand River Conference champion Putnam County Midgets at Griffin Field in Trenton on Tuesday, September 1st, a visit from the Princeton Lady Tigers, and junior standout pitcher Lauren Krohn, on Tuesday, September 8th, the Nan Carter Tournament on September 26th, a trip to Class 1 state power Maysville on Thursday, September 3rd, the Centralia Tournament on Saturday, October 3rd, and rivalry games with Hamilton on September 14th, the Marceline squad that ended Trenton’s season a year ago on October 5th, and a trek to Chillicothe to play the Lady Hornets at Danner Park to end the regular season on October 12th.