By Jeff Harrison
Midwest City Beacon
There a few changes around the Carl Albert softball program this fall.
The Titans have a new coach in Dani Dobbs, and several open spots in the lineup.
But the expectations remain the same.
“Our goal is to maintain the championship mindset and the high standards we have here,” said Dobbs.
The Titans have set the bar higher than about any school in the state with four consecutive trips to the state finals including state championships in 2017 and 2018.
“We’ve had two runner-up finishes in a row, so we’re going to win it all this year,” said senior Ragan Kelley.
Most of the team’s experience will line up in the infield.
Marissa Frolich will handle pitching duties again this fall after a brilliant sophomore campaign. She went 23-13 with 173 strikeouts and a 1.99 ERA. She also hit .435 and led the team with 46 RBIs.
Bryce Atkins started much of last year at first base and will likely return this fall. The senior hit .433 with 25 RBIs last year.
Fellow senior Ragan Kelley returns at second base where she hit .305 last season.
Sophomore Ausha Moore is back at shortstop after missing much of last year with a broken wrist. She is a smooth fielder and solid hitter.
At third base, Shelby Rusche is expected to get the start after playing there much of last year. Kaylee Davis filled in at shortstop last year and will likely play middle infield this year. Jocelyn Harjo also saw varsity action in 2020.
The Titans still have some big holes at catcher and in the outfield. The team graduated a pair of all-staters last year in catcher Abbey Rogers and outfielder Aerin Talley.
“We lost a lot of talented girls and we’re a younger team, but I think we should go far this year,” Atkins said. “We have a really good pitcher with Marissa [Frolich] and some good freshmen coming up.”
Dobbs replaces longtime coach Colin White who led the team to seven state titles.
She grew up in the area and went to Epperly Heights Elementary and Jarman Middle School before moving to Moore in high school. She was a standout softball player at the University of Oklahoma and coached at St. Gregory’s University, Nebraska-Omaha and most recently at Choctaw High School.
“I’m honored and excited to be part of an established program like this,” she said.