FREDERICK - The Frederick Warriors softball team is bucking the old adage that familiarity breeds contempt.
The nine seniors on the 2017 squad believe familiarity leads to success.
As juniors they surged at the end of the season to reach the Class 4A state tournament. The longtime teammates and friends are ready to use that experience to lead Frederick back to the state tournament in 2017.
"It's their turn to shine," head coach Roger Dufour said. "With that many seniors, hopefully they'll understand what it takes."
A tough nonleague schedule led to a 3-6 start but the Warriors finished last season 14-8, including a 10-game winning streak leading up to the state tournament. They finished second in the Tri-Valley League and were the Region 6 champions after wins over Ponderosa and Mountain View.
A loss in the first round of state to Silver Creek was unexpected, but it has provided motivation for the seniors.
"We were all kind of upset we didn't make it past that first game," Maddy Massey said. "No one wants to go home after the first game. Losing that first game fueled our fire for this year."
Massey will be hitting at the top of the Frederick lineup, as will her twin sister and fellow senior, Brittlyn. The two are expected to set the tone for the Warriors' offense, and they are ready for the challenge.
"I might be staying at the top as last year," Britt said. "I did get more hitting time last year. I think we both are equally talented."
The twins will miss their younger sister, Mikyla, a junior who played on the team last year but decided not to play this season. They are looking forward to playing with the rest of the squad and sharing the leadership responsibilities.
"We all have our different ways to do our job," Brittlyn Massey said. "We've played together for so long. We were very young so we all quietly know what we need to do."
The Warriors return two pitchers from last year, Kaitlyn Reagin and Makenna Goodard, but lost some power offensively with the graduations of Paris Woods and Julia Wyatt.
"Hopefully someone is going to step up," Dufour said.
The Massey twins have confidence that Frederick's long-time coach will find a way to make this team successful.
"Dufour is an amazing coach," Maddy Massey said. "The team wouldn't be where they are without him, and we wouldn't be where we are as individuals without him."
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