MARYSVILLE — The Marysville-Pilchuck fast pitch team is getting ready for its season, and hoping to make it to the state tournament once again.
The Tommies have seven varsity returners, including three seniors. They graduated their pitcher and catcher, so the team is currently in the process of rebuilding that dynamic.
“I don’t have a pitcher quite yet,” said head coach Aaron Zachry. “I’ve got an incoming freshman who is pretty young and doesn’t quite have the innings under her belt, and I’ve got a senior short stop who last pitched at age 14, Haley Fritz. I’m really proud of her. She doesn’t want to pitch, it’s her senior year and I don’t think this is how she wanted it to go, but she’s stepping up and working on her pitching. Jordyn Nickolson has been trying to throw for us also.”
The Tommies are working on finding a catcher to replace the one who graduated last year.
“I’ve got a catcher coming into the program, Kylie Lopez, though she blew out her ACL last year,” said Zachry. “We’ve got a senior who was in the outfield, Casey Zachry, and we’re thinking of putting her in as well.”
The Tommies had 27 girls try out for the program, with nine in varsity, 12 in junior varsity and six who are swing players. “We are still trying to find a home for them,” said Zachry.
This is the first year that M-P and MG have both had varsity 3A programs, but Zachry doesn’t think it will affect the quality of his team.
“I don’t know if it really affects us much. With Marysville being split, our numbers went down a bit, but as far as how we are going to play and what we are going to do, it won’t change,” he said.
The team began its season on March 12, in an away game against Lake Stevens, although the results of that game weren’t known as of press time.
“We make most of our nonleague games against 4A Wesco North, and that’s a very strong conference this year, with Arlington, Snohomish and Monroe,” said Zachry. “Lake Stevens has got an up-and-coming program. It’s a tough nonleague schedule, but the girls are up for that. We like to keep our relationships with those teams, the girls have been playing with them for years.”
Now that Marysville-Pilchuck is in 3A, they face a new set of competitors.
“Everett has a really strong program that was second at state last year,” said Zachry. “Getchell is new but their program’s getting better.”
After two weeks of practice, Zachry has an idea of who some of the promising young players are that will be essential to the program in the seasons to come.
“I’ve got a couple of sophomores this year who are really strong, Abigail Otto and Kayla Tocco. Both of them are going to be big parts of the team this year. Another one was a swing player last year, Megan Luketich, who came through for us at the end of the season when we had some injuries. She has worked really hard in the off-season,” said Zachry.
“This is a really good group. The first week of practice we had some sunshine and I was working with all 27 girls and got to know them. All the girls are a real pleasure to work with.”
Marysville-Pilchuck is set to play against Mountlake Terrace at home on Thursday, March 14, at 4 p.m.