Coming off of a record-breaking season, the Bay Port Pirates look to continue their recent success into a new year.
For the first time in school history, the Bay Port Pirate Softball team advanced to State a season ago. Despite the loss of just two seniors from that squad, another run through the postseason will be tough. “We have talented girls that I have no doubt will step up and be a force to reckon with,” said Head Coach Jenna Woepse.
The Pirates won their first game in Madison over Kenosha Bradford 12-8, before falling to eventual State Champions Westosha Central in the State-Semifinals
Last year Bay Port went 15-1 in claiming a conference championship for the fifth time in school history and finished the year with a school-record of 21 wins.
Gone from that Pirate team is Co-Player of the Year and All-State Pitcher in Bailey Smaney. Now a UW-Green Bay player, Smaney carried the Pirates with a 0.63 earned run average (ERA) in pitching nearly every inning of the season. “As a coach or player, it's very unique to coach a player like Bailey. We can coach a girl to pitch, field and hit, but an attitude like that is difficult to replace” added Woepse. Smaney currently leads the Phoenix in wins, ERA and innings pitched.
Replacing Shortstop Alyssa Cooper will be another obstacle for the Pirates. Now playing for UW-Stevens Point, Cooper was 2nd-Team All-FRCC and drove in the lone run in a 1-0 win for the Sectional title. "I think we will be playing around with lineups and positions throughout the first part of the season trying to figure out what combination of girls work the best together," said Woepse. "We have already told the girls to be prepared to potentially move positions as we are always looking for the best combo."
Bay Port returns seven starters and other players who saw varsity action last year. Woepse said that having that experience from last year is big. “Any time you have quite a few girls that have played together a bunch always makes them more comfortable, but it also makes the coach more comfortable.”
The Pirates will lean on Sydney LaPoint in the circle this season.The Sophomore saw some action at the Varsity level a year ago, and she has prepared herself to be the new Pirate starter. Her intended target behind the plate is Ally Jacques. The Senior Catcher led the team with a .412 batting average.
Woepse, 2015 Coach of the Year in the Fox River Classic Conference (FRCC), says that they play in a tough conference. “Green Bay Preble and Ashwaubenon are always tough teams. They both are always well coached and disciplined,” said Woepse. The Pirates edged Green Bay Preble by one game in the conference standings a season ago, but the Hornets return a lot of key players from a young squad.
After a rain soaked first few days of the spring season, Bay Port is scheduled to open up the 2016 season on Tuesday, April 12 when they host Ashwaubenon in conference play.
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