Jefferson softball coach Kacie Bostwick doesn’t flinch when asked the question: Does she expect her team to return to the Elite Eight in Columbus this fall? “Absolutely,” the third-year coach said. “If we’re not then I’ll be disappointed. I do expect us to be back there.”

Expectations are high with a roster that includes five seniors and seven starters off a 28-win team that finished ranked No. 4 in Class 4A a year ago.

“I think last year kind of set a precedent for what we want to be, what we want to work towards,” Bostwick said. “Our kids have done a good job this summer of maintaining that expectation, so I am really excited to see what these kids have coming back this season.”

Jefferson must replace last year’s ace and one of the program’s most decorated pitchers, Caroline Mitchell. But the Dragons do return an experienced Emily Perrin, who went 4-3 last year with a 1.48 ERA pitching behind Mitchell.

“I think she had a really good role model to kind of watch and kind of follow in those footsteps last year,” Bostwick said.

Bostwick said Perrin, who struck out 67 batters in 52 innings last year, has always had the skill set but just needed to build confidence.

“She’s worked really hard over the summer,” Bostwick said. “I think mentally she’s in a better spot this year than she was last year. I think she’s going to do a really good job.”

Jefferson is still sorting through its options for the No. 2 pitcher’s spot.

Bostwick expects to be sound defensively with most all of the team’s starters returning.

“I’m very confident” she said. “And so what we’ve been able to do over the summer is kind of work in some different things.”

For the rest of this story, see the Aug. 2 edition of The Jackson Herald.

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