Last season the West Orange-Stark Lady Mustangs started well in tournament play, but then struggled when the district games rolled around. Coach Joseph Viator begins his third season mentoring the Lady Mustangs, and he hopes to start building the program backup this year.
Viator has a strong core of seniors returning. Elecia Barlow, Ja’tayjah Vital, Alexis Holt, and Jara Edwards have all played since they were freshmen at West Orange-Stark. Shatyra Allen is also a senior and will start in the outfield. “Those seniors I’m really banking on this year,” Viator pointed out.
West Orange-Stark also has some new players Coach Viator can plug into the lineup and get good results. He is looking forward to freshman Ty’Kendria Miller playing second base for the Lady Mustangs. Gabby Tims has not joined the softball team yet because she is also on the basketball team. Viator stated, “She can be my catcher this year she’s also a freshman.”
Although the Lady Mustangs have some girls that can swing the bat, Viator is counting on their team speed to produce a lot of the runs for West Orange-Stark. Aliyah Mims is a sophomore the coach thinks should swing a consistent bat this season. Barlow and Vital should provide the big sticks for the Lady Mustangs. Speed is the key for the Lady Mustangs as Edwards, Miller, and Holt all can run. Viator admitted, “I’m hoping to put it on the ground and get on base.”
The coach is looking for a young lady to fill the circle this season. Coach Viator has some pitching prospects. Junior Mariah Mims has looked the best in the early scrimmages. Mariah does not have exceptional speed, but she does give the Lady Mustangs a chance to win because she puts the ball in the strike zone. Her sister Aliyah will also pitch a little bit. A newcomer to West Orange-Stark is freshman Caranaysha Angelle who may see some time in the circle.
It may be a rebuilding year, but Viator is positive about the outlook for the Lady Mustangs in 2017. He is looking for West Orange-Stark to be competitive. West Orange-Stark is battling through some injuries right now, but Viator observes, “I know my group of seniors this year. The practices have been a lot better and I hope that transfers into the season.”