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By Michael Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
Despite a 16-5 regular season and a Bay State League title, the 2017 season ended with a bit of a sour taste in the mouths of the Walpole High girls softball team, as the No. 7 seeded Rebels fell 13-10 to arch rival and No. 10 Norwood in first round of the Division I South Sectionals.
This season, Walpole returns several big bats and strong pitching arms that carried them to the state tournament in 2017, as the Rebels will look to get back to the dance and go on a deep run.
The Rebels will be led into battle this season by their four captains: senior Maddy Morano, senior pitcher and first-baseman Kate Wilmot, senior Jacqui Mulcahy, and junior pitcher and center-fielder McKenzie Rae.
Alongside the four senior captains, two other impact bats to watch out for in 2018 for Walpole are junior Kiera McInerney and sophomore shortstop Katie Leacoma.
McInerney says that she and her team are just looking to take things one game at a time and are excited to see what the 10 returning varsity players on the Rebels roster, as well as the many newcomers, are able to put together this season.
“Our goal is to work hard and win the Bay State League again,” said McInerney. “We are a young team but we have 10 returning varsity players, so there’s definitely a good amount of experience coming back with the group we have.”
On the mound, the Rebels will turn to the arms of Wilmot and Rae as their one-two punch of aces.
“We only lost two of our starting pitchers from last year,” said McInerney. “Kate and McKenzie were huge for us last season and they will be again for us this season.”
The Rebels will begin their quest back to the state tournament on April 9 at Bay State rival Natick before traveling to Needham on April 11.
For funny and incisive sports analysis, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter at @fLAno0, or read his blog at www.flannylive.wordpress.com.