Jackie Flinders takes over the head coaching duties at her alma mater, replacing Ron Shumate who retired last June after seven years as the head coach and 19 years total with the program.
Flinders, a 2005 Crestline High School gradfuate who played on the ‘04 state championship squad, has 10 letter winners returning from last season’s team with went 15-10 and finished as district runner-up to state runner-up Colonel Crawford.
The returnees are Kenzie Byers, Ellen Dailey, Kayla Gregory, Mara Huber, Caylee Jackson, Kelsi Ronk, Kenzie Ronk, Sam Tesso and Sam Tracey.
Lost to graduation is All-Ohio pitcher Natalie Sayre.
For top prospects, Flinders stated, “(The) entire team. Defense will be our strength. Every player has a chance to shine at any point in time.”
Strengths are the returning letter winners and team speed, according to the rookie mentor.
“Lack of offensive performance from last year. (We) need to improve the team batting average,” she noted.
What about goals for the Lady Bulldogs?
“(To) be competitive in the league and make a tourney run,” Flinders mentioned. “Bucyrus is the team to beat. We will hang in there near the top.”
And her thoughts on returning to her alma mater in the coaching capacity?
“I am extremely excited to be back as a Lady Bulldog,” she said. “This is home and all our kids at JV and varsity are working hard.”