Head Coach: Ed Marcum, 10th season.
2012: 22-7, 6-1 Hoosier Heritage Conference (Co-Champs). Lost in Sectional 13 finals to Franklin Central, 4-0.
Last Sectional Title: 2011.
Key Returnees (with grade, key stats):
P: Lizzie Garrison, 12 — 11-5, 2.57 ERA in 109 IP
1B: Megan Prosser, 12 — .346, 22 RBI
SS: Erin Lehman, 12 — .364, 18 RBI in 15 games
LF: Markie Wood, 11 — .342, 26 runs
2B: Addi Clouse, 11 — .429 in 17 games
RF: Adie Lorsung, 10 — .378, 3 home runs, 16 RBI
P: Kaylin McMurray, 10 — 10-2, 3.09 ERA in 65.2 IP
Marcum declined to name starters, citing lack of outdoor preparation and the cancellation of NP’s first three games.
What’s New: Lehman, an Indiana recruit who missed 14 games last season with a leg injury, moves from second base to shortstop. Addi Clouse takes over for Lehman at second. Sophomores Brittany Duncan (center field) and Macey Hutchinson (pitcher) as well as freshmen Issy Hoyt (third base), Casey Lehman (catcher) and Abby O’Connor (utility) are varsity newcomers to watch.
Coachspeak: “We had seven seniors last year, so we are going to have several players in different positions. I am expecting leadership from this year’s seniors: Erin Lehman, Megan Prosser and Lizzie Garrison.” — NP coach Ed Marcum on changes to his team.
“We are young, but I expect us to continue to improve throughout the season.” — Marcum.
“I think the conference will be very competitive with several teams competing for the championship.” — Marcum on the Hoosier Heritage Conference.
“I believe we are in the toughest sectional in the state with perennial powerhouses Center Grove and Franklin Central along with Greenwood, a much improved Franklin and Whiteland.” — Marcum.
Class 4A Sectional 13 at Center Grove includes: Center Grove, Franklin, Franklin Central, Greenwood, New Palestine, Whiteland.
On Deck: The Dragons were slated to open their season earlier this week with contests at Whiteland and Lawrence North, plus a home tilt vs. Warren Central. All three were cancelled, and now NP will open its 2013 campaign April 2 against visiting Southport.