PLATTSBURGH — After a 2-14 campaign a season ago, the only direction the Clinton Community College softball team can go is up.
The Cougars welcome back three players from last year’s roster — two of which graduated from North Country high schools.
Sami Stoughton, who returns to the diamond in her second year as coach, said the three veteran players along with a mix of athletic newcomers should pay dividends this spring.
“After last year, I didn’t know what I was coming back to,” Stoughton said. “Our team, though, is depending on Meg Barber, Ileana Emeterio and Molly Rascoe for leadership.
“They have a year of college softball under their belt, so they know what it has to offer.
“We have a number of area athletes joining the team who are more than capable of contributing from the get-go. There’s a lot of depth and our freshmen know the game well.”
Among the newcomers showing promise are Alisha Ducatte (Saranac), Lyndale Nephew (Seton Catholic), Alyssa Rabideau (Northeastern Clinton) and Christine Darrah (AuSable Valley).
“They’ve all been working hard throughout the preseason,” Stoughton said. “They will all be making an appearance in the infield at one time or another. Our infield shows a lot of potential, and we look to use it to our advantage.”
Stoughton said Ducatte, Nephew, Rascoe and Rabideau are all power hitters from the plate and are expected to get on base often.
“(Ducatte) has shown a strong bat and will see a lot of plate appearances early in the order,” Stoughton said. “(Rabideau) should make an impact, too.”
Ducatte will play at shortstop where she’ll anchor an infield that includes Rascoe at first base, Nephew at second and Rabideau at third.
Emily Cutting (Moriah) will be in right field, while Alyssa Sullivan (Westport) and Kaila McGowan will start in center field and left field, respectively.