Starting lineup includes several key returnees as HP seeks playoff berth
The good news: Highland Park’s 2022 softball roster will feature plenty of familiar faces. The bad news: So, will the rest of District 13-5A.
The Lady Scots struggled with a young roster in one of the area’s most challenging districts a year ago. This spring, they hope improvement will help them close the gap on powerhouses such as Royse City, Forney, Crandall, and others — ultimately hoping to return to postseason play for the first time since 2019.
“They’re really strong programs. Our plan this year is to hang with them,” said HP head coach Michael Pullen. “Last year, we had to grow up on the field. We definitely will take steps forward.”
Indeed, much of the lineup returns from a squad that endured lopsided losses last season and finished sixth in league play with a 4-10 mark.
Primary pitcher Lilli Reenan is back as part of a solid senior contingent that includes third baseman Ava White, shortstop Shelby Pettit, and first baseman Olivia Jewell. Most of them have multiple years of varsity experience.
Reese Singleton, an all-district outfielder last year as a sophomore, will again play center field and anchor the lineup after leading the Lady Scots in several hitting categories.
Other returnees include second baseman Campbell Sharpe and catcher Audrey Schedler, who played key roles as freshmen.
“We’ve got a really talented group of sophomores who got some experience last year,” Pullen said. “It’s a good combination.”
HP will tune up for the rigorous district schedule with February tournaments in Carrollton and Richardson, plus matchups against Class 6A opponents Garland Lakeview and Tyler Legacy.
The 13-5A slate does HP no favors, providing an immediate measuring stick with consecutive games against Mesquite Poteet, Forney, and Crandall.
However, Pullen is confident his team has better chemistry and leadership this season to prepare for the pressure of such competition.
“The girls put in tons of work in the offseason,” he said. “It’s a different type of vibe.”