Ace Andrew Dillon leads a young Railspitters team as fourth-year coach Marty Lozano tries to turn things around after a 12-21 season in 2009. Lozano has just four returning starters and 12 juniors.
While Lincoln isn’t expected to contend for a conference championship, its non-Southeastern Conference schedule begins Today at Belleville and also includes tough games against Wayne Memorial and Plymouth.
“We’re kind of loaded up there but it’ll get us ready for our conference,” Lozano said.
Dillon added his familiarity with catcher Mike Golowic has helped him in the past and believes he and his battery-mate could be something special this season.
“He’s a really good hitter and he’s great behind the plate,” said Dillon, who has committed to Oakland University on scholarship. “He’s caught for me since I was about ten years old. He’s just one of those catchers you need at this level to take control of the game.”
Kyle Deuel returns as Lincoln’s starting first baseman.
In his second year at Lincoln, coach Wes Strickland will try to build on last season’s midseason hot-streak when he implemented more fundamentals and a “speed, slap-hitting” style of offense.
With one starter gone from last season’s 10-20 team, Strickland will look to senior shortstop Danni Lauth (all-SEC), as well junior starting pitcher Devin Wilson and junior catcher Rikki Scherat (both all-SEC honorable mention selections).
Wilson has put in extra work in the offseason and has added 3 to 5 m.p.h. to her fastball, and now has a curveball, rise ball, drop ball and two change-ups in her arsenal.
Lincoln’s school record for wins in a season is 11 and Strickland sees that number being surpassed this year as his girls get more comfortable with his coaching style.
“I knew it was going to be a two or three year project before we were competitive against the Pioneers and the Tecumsehs,” Strickland said. “But to be honest with you I think we’re going to be competitive right now if the girls play as well as I expect.”