Gilbert hopes to improve on an 11-10 softball showing a year ago. The Indians welcome seven starters back to the fold with the hope of challenging for championship in new-look Region 3-2A.
Gilbert was a third-place finisher in the region last season and was eliminated in the district playoff finals by Crescent.
The veteran cast includes Victoria Burkett, Kayla Whitaker, Gabby Keisler, Kathryn Cochcroft, Lyndie Dorgan, Savannah Anderson and Hannah Bumgarner. But some of the returning starters will be adjusting to new positions. Burkett, for instance, moves from catcher to shortstop, Whitaker moves from third base to catcher and Burgarner, the retuning center fielder, will be relegated to DP or curtesy running duty because of an injury. Otherwise, Keisler is back as the main pitcher, Dorgan will play in center and pitch, Cochcroft is back at first base and Anderson is the fixture at second.
Kelli Shealy is penciled in as the starter in left field, while newcomers Caitlyn Sheppard and Jenna Williams will are set in right field and at third base, respectively. Gibson Westfall is pushing for playing time behind the plate, while Taylor Kitchens and Lindsey Smith provide outfield depth.
The Indians open the season at a preseason tournament this weekend at Mid-Carolina, and host former region rival Saluda in the regular season opener on March 8.