PALM COAST — Most of the names on the Matanzas softball team roster are new, even to coach Sara Novak.
Three of the expected starters moved to Flagler County from outside of Florida: Savanna Drummonds (North Carolina), Brooklyn Jimeson (Texas) and Olivia Jaques (New York). Jaques actually was at Matanzas last year, but a shoulder injury kept her out for all season.
The rest of the starters, for the most part, are up from the junior-varsity squad.
Last year, Matanzas finished 13-10, losing in the district championship for the second straight season. The Lady Pirates lost in the first round of the state playoffs.
Matanzas lost seven starters from last year’s team. But the Lady Pirates are now in 5-6A, which includes Seabreeze, New Smyrna Beach, Pine Ridge, Mainland and Deltona.
Senior Morgan Lambert, the team’s top returning player, will lead the charge — both at the plate and on the field. Lambert will be one of the team’s three pitchers. She has five different pitches, with speeds between 50-55 mph. Novak said Lambert didn’t pitch at full strength last season, as she returned from a serious injury. When she’s not on the mound, she’ll be at shortstop.
As a hitter, Lambert collected at least one hit in every game last season.
Jimeson and Jaquas will be Matanzas’ other pitchers.
Sara Dillion is the team’s lone freshman. She’ll mostly play right field, Novak said.
Matanzas has three seniors, nine juniors, one sophomore and one freshman on this year’s roster.
Novak’s expected starting lineup is as follows:
Drummonds, junior: catcher (or center field)
Jaques, senior: first base (or pitcher)
Camille Leake, junior: second base
Jimeson, junior: pitcher (or third base, shortstop)
Lambert, senior: shortstop (or pitcher, third base)
Brianna Evans, junior: center field (outfield)
Summer Haire, senior: left field (outfield)
Sara Dillion, freshman: right field (outfield)