After a rough 1-15 season last year, the Searsport District High School softball team looks to improve its record and recover a large measure of confidence this spring.

Seventh-year Viking coach Thor Gower hopes to see his players pull themselves through this season and thinks that, with their strong defense, they can do it.

“I’m optimistic. I would love to see the season go well for us,” he said. “I think our defense is going to be our strong point. I think we are going to be able to field the ball well, play good defense, [and] play sound softball.”

The Vikings include seniors Sara Bradshaw (shortstop, pitcher), Katherine Cotter (first base), Marissa Higgins (second base), Megan Higgins (outfield) and Olivia Quigley (pitcher, third base); juniors Shannon Higgins (outfield, shortstop), Kelli Smith (catcher) and Christian Chase (outfield, third base); sophomores Cassie Martin (manager) and Harley Mitchell (outfield); and freshmen Gwen Higgins (third base, pitcher), Heidi Ploszai (outfield, shortstop), and Julien Wilder (outfield, second base).

Gower noted that he hasn’t lost any players to graduation and he had five seniors this year, including Quigley, who he thinks will have a strong pitching season.

He also said that since it is so early he is still working out some of the preseason kinks with the newer players. “Three-quarters of the team I’ve had before so I know pretty much what they can do. So I’m taking pretty much a look at some of the other positions and where to put some of the newer faces as far as position-wise,” he said.

Gower thinks that, despite their strong defense, the team’s offense needs to improve. “We really need to score a lot more runs to be competitive, especially against some of the lager schools that we play,” he said.

He noted that he feels George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill, Foxcroft of Dover-Foxcroft, Central of East Corinth and Sumner of East Sullivan will be the Vikings’ top competition this year.

SDHS opens the regular on Monday, April 19 at 4:30 p.m. at Foxcroft Academy.

Village NetMedia Sports Reporter Frederick Freudenberger can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at fritz@villagesoup.com.