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Softball preview: Broomfield Eagles have solid roster for strong 4A run

Despite graduation delivering some key blows to Broomfield’s roster, Eagles softball expects to soar this season.

With a fortified defense and more team speed, Paula Seifried believes her team has the potential to hang with the best of Class 4A. But the sixth-year coach also understands her team has some obstacles standing in its way, and it might take a good part of the season to iron out those wrinkles.

“Our hitting will need a little work, because we are working some younger girls into the system,” she said. “It will be a matter of them getting used to the speed and level of high school softball.”

Broomfield expects to play small ball on offense, but has some big sticks to carry it through the early season. Leading the way for the Eagles’ offense will be Shelby Grandt, who was the team’s top hitter in 2010 and has the potential to exceed her .425 batting average as a sophomore. Also showing the potential to add pop to the lineup are infielder Lyndsey Babcock and catcher Lindsey Brophy.

Defense is the Eagles’ strong point, with Seifried anticipating strong, errorless fielding. And the defense will get a helping hand from its young and talented pitching staff. Grandt only pitched three innings last season as part of the Eagles, but after playing catcher most of 2010, this year’s ace has a good understanding of the system she is taking over.

Broomfield is aiming for the top of the Northern League, but as usual the huge conference has its stumbling blocks. Entering the season, Silver Creek and Niwot are among the two biggest problems on the Eagles’ schedule.

BROOMFIELD

League: Northern. Champion: Silver Creek 18-4.

Coach: Paula Seifried (sixth season).

2010 results: 14-9; lost in first round of Class 4A state tournament.

Returning starters: Lindsey Brophy, C, Sr.; Talia Finamore, Utl, Sr.; Taylor Deboer, 1B, Sr.; Lyndsey Babcock, IF, Jr.; Katie Knudsen, 3B, Jr.; Karli Hughes, OF, Soph.; Shelby Grandt, P, Soph.Future contributors: Amelia Trotter, Utl., Frosh.; Kayla Terasas, Utl., Jr.

2010 statistical leaders: Batting average — Shelby Grandt .425. RBI — Shelby Grandt 23. ERA — Chandler Moore 2.01. K — Chandler Moore 128.

Schedule:

Tuesday @Mountain View 4 p.m.

Thursday Longmont 4 p.m.

Aug. 30 Greeley Central 4 p.m.

Sept. 1 @Centaurus 4 p.m.

Sept. 2 @Erie Festival

Sept. 3 @Erie Festival

Sept. 7 Niwot 4 p.m.

Sept. 13 @Thompson Valley 4 p.m.

Sept. 15 Silver Creek 4 p.m.

Sept. 17 Mountain View 10 a.m.

Sept. 20 @Longmont 4 p.m.

Sept. 22 @Greeley Central 4 p.m.

Sept. 23 @Holy Family 4 p.m.

Sept. 27 Centaurus 4 p.m.

Oct. 1 @Niwot noon

Oct. 4 Thompson Valley 4 p.m.