Veteran Lineup, Quality Depth Gives Guyer Optimism in 2019

Veteran Lineup, Quality Depth Gives Guyer Optimism in 2019

Veteran Lineup, Quality Depth Gives Guyer Optimism in 2019

by Steve Gamel

The Guyer softball team is coming off a run to the third round of the play ofs and have almost everyone back from that team. Perhaps more impressive is its newfound depth, which could make the Lady Wildcats an even tougher out in 2019. Head coach Keith Medford admitted he was busier than normal in January trying to be as efficient as possible with team practices so that all players could get as many reps as possible. The Lady Wildcats have more than 30 girls, including five to six returning starters. That’s a significant amount of depth for softball – even for a Class 6A squad. “Just when you think you’re prepared, then it hits you,” Medford said with a laugh. “We have more numbers than I think we’ve ever had, so it’s created quite a bit of adjusting. But we’re having fun with it.”

Medford has every right to be optimistic. His program is a perennial playoff favorite and rarely misses the playoffs. The last time it did was the 2017 campaign, and it was by one game. Guyer followed that with a 23-4-2 record last year. Back for another round is a very strong senior class led by Morgan Medford. The all-star shortstop and Tarleton State commit batted .510 from the leadoff position last year while racking up 44 runs scored. She’ll be joined by Ryan Gallegos, a second baseman who coach Medford said is primed for a breakout season. Last year, Gallegos batted .373 with 30 RBIs and 31 runs scored. Medford also praised outfielders Eva Meyers and Kara DeBruin. 

“I don’t think anyone would argue that Morgan is the leader of the team, but it’s hard to pinpoint one girl,” said Medford, who also has a few freshman that could make waves this season. “They all bring something special to the table, and I think many of them have been overlooked. There are also girls like Jenna Rover and Kate Moala. Both play third base and can hit the ball out of the park at any time. Our first baseman, Bailey Anderson, is also incredible.” He added, “And most of them are seniors. They’ve been through a lot – they’ve seen heartbreak, being out of the playoffs by one game and then bouncing back and making our longest run since the state tournament last year.”

One of the keys to Guyer’s success over the years has always been pitching and having someone solid behind the plate. Last year, Sylvia Murillo was the Lady Wildcats’ ace in the circle, and she didn’t disappoint. But Murillo graduated, as did their starting catcher, which means the biggest question mark as this season gets underway is at those two positions. Medford didn’t want to throw any names out there yet in terms of a starter but said the competition was wide open heading into the team’s first preseason tournament in Carrollton. They have a few move-ins at both positions, and Lauren Bates, a sophomore who was injured last year, is expected to be in the mix.

At catcher, there’s also sophomore Madison Slater and freshman Kate Wentworth. “They’ve all done so well that I think we will need to get creative in finding ways to get them all on the field. But the competition is wide open right now,” Medford said. “Those are very important positions. If we can figure those out, I think we’ll be OK. Whether you like it or not, the expectations we’ve created around here is quite the animal. We embrace that, though, and we’re going to have fun this season watching this team play.”

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