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Youth movement at Trask

Trask’s A.J. Johnson bobbles a pop fly before recovering the ball for the last out of Thursday’s 11-1 victory over Wallace-Rose Hill. Johnson is one of several freshmen on the team who have contributed to the Titans’ impressive run in 2013. (Photo by Jeff Janowski)

ROCKY POINT | Usually when a team is made up of more freshmen than seniors, the chances of being competitive are pretty slim.

That doesn't seem to be the case in Rocky Point, as the Trask softball team currently sits at 12-1 after an 11-1 win over Wallace Rose-Hill on Thursday night.

The Titans have dominated almost every game they have played this year, outscoring their opponents 147-45.

Much of the success can be attributed to the connection many of the players have with first-year coach Corrina Reece, who is a teacher at Cape Fear Middle School.

Reece coached many of them at Cape Fear Middle, and the success has carried over to the varsity level.

While Trask's outstanding season may come as a surprise to many, Reece says she expected it.

"To be honest, I knew we would be good, because I've coached them before," Reece said. "They just have a winning mentality. They get along real well with one another. They've been playing together for a long time, so they know each other."

There are six freshmen among the Titans roster to only three seniors, and all of the freshmen have made a big impact. Four of the six have a batting average better than .400, with A.J. Johnson leading the team with a .526 average.

Johnson and fellow freshman Kristina Collier combine with junior Kelly Roughton and senior Anna Broadmerkel to give the Titans four strong pitchers. Roughton improved her record to 6-0 on Thursday, as she pitched four innings against Wallace Rose-Hill and gave up just five hits to earn the win.

At the plate, freshman Taylor Rivenburgh leads the team in home runs (two), slugging percentage (.757), on-base percentage (.556), and is tied for second on the team with sophomore Robbie Murray in RBIs with 18. Amanda Ludlam leads the team with 21 RBIs.

Although it has been mostly underclassmen that has carried the team through much of the season, Reece believes it has been a total team effort that leads to victories. In the 13 games the Titans have played, Reece has used a different lineup in each one.

"It's been a full team effort," Reece said. "We have seven players batting over .400. We don't have a dominant pitcher, but we have four good ones. We have 14 players that can play. It's really been a total team effort."

Now, with four games remaining until the postseason, Reece and the Titans begin to focus on aspects of the game they need to improve on to challenge for a 1A state championship.

"I'd like for us to be a little more consistent on defense, as well as our base running," Reece said. "We haven't had any errors in our last few games, but that's still something I'd like to see us improve on. If we can shore up our defense and fix some of the mistakes we've made on the bases, then I'd be very confident heading into the playoffs."