Check out our spring sports preview of the 2018 Molalla High School softball team

PIONEER FILE PHOTO  - Molalla senior Makaylah Kluken fields the ball from shortstop during an away game last season. Head coach: Dawn Wade, fourth season

2017 record: 6-14 overall, 2-13 league play, Tri-Valley Conference sixth place

Three-year record: 15-49 overall, 6-39 league play

Last playoff appearance: 2013, lost to McLoughlin 1-2 in the quarterfinals

Seniors lost: Three – Brittni Callahan, Meghan Wade (All-League winner), Emily Evanson

Key returners: Senior Emily Gates (All-League winner), senior Makaylah Kluken, senior Alicia Schultz, junior Amanda Wendell, junior Charlotte Pursley, junior Jaycee Gago

2017 season recap: Molalla again struggled to get a solid rhythm going throughout the season, some of which may be attributed to their lack of a real home playing field, as the high school's softball field was only used a few times all season due to drainage issues that made it unplayable. This year, things should hopefully be better for the Indians' home field prospects, and should provide them a bit more confidence for home matchups. The beginning of the season was solid for the Indians, as they won four of their first five games, while several had to be cancelled in between due to inclement weather. After that, they lost eight games in a row before finally catching a break and beating Corbett 9-8 to get back on track. They finished out the season with one more win over Madras at home, and then two more losses to Estacada and Corbett. PIONEER FILE PHOTO  - Molalla senior Alicia Schultz takes a cut during a home game last season.

Season outlook: The Indians return a good number of solid players, including All-League winner Emily Gates, who was unbreakable behind the plate, all-around stellar athlete Alicia Schultz will lock down center field, veteran Makaylah Kluken will stop anything from coming up the middle at short stop, and Charlotte Pursley and Amanda Wendell will cover the infield corners. Molalla will miss Meghan Wade, Brittni Callahan, and Emily Evanson, who all graduated last season, but they still have plenty of returning and up-and-coming talent. The Indians open the season at home March 12, and then head to Jefferson for their first of two double headers. Also on their preseason schedule is the Milwaukie Tournament at Hood View Park on March 26 and 27. Hopefully the rain will hold off a bit more this year so they can get in some preseason work before league play begins.

First game: Molalla opens the season at home against Woodburn on Monday, March 12 at 4 p.m.

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