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Newcastle Fast-Pitch Softball Preview – Presented by Oklahoma AgCredit

Last season, Newcastle was a young team with four freshmen and three sophomores starting for the Racers. This year, that youth has gained experience and that gives head coach Mike Crossley plenty of optimism heading into this season. He believes his team can build on last season’s 23-13 record with the solid squad he has returning. VYPE 100 athlete Brooklyn Lyles (IF, Jr.) will lead the Racers this year. Crossley says Lyles is a very athletic and talented player with a great work ethic. Aubree Ferguson (P, Jr.) is another outstanding player for the Racers. Crossley says she does it all for Newcastle in both the circle and at the plate. Last season, Ferguson hit .365 while compiling a 20-6 record with 141 strikeouts as pitcher.

Another key player for Newcastle this year will be Meredith Strange (UT, Jr.) Strange is versatile player that can line up at multiple defensive positions. She’s also a reliable bat that hit .354 last season. One younger player to watch is Lexie Lovelace (UT, So.). She hit .448 last season for the Racers and is an outstanding athlete that also has defensive versatility. Lilyana Portillo (C, So.) is a player Crossley is expecting big things from this year. Last season she led the Racers in hitting with a .466 average and played solid defense behind the plate. Finally, Crossley says Cortni Smith is an excellent leader for the Racers. Crossley says Smith has excellent grades, is a hard worker, and an excellent role model.

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