New Sylvan Hills head coach Justine Gladden calls herself blessed.
A new situation, a new school, a new sport, and four pitchers.
Tyra Williams, Michelle Sorenson, Jeana Canaday and Callie Cavender will vie for time in the circle this season for Gladden who starts season one as head softball coach for the Lady Bears on Monday at Maumelle.
Gladden takes over after being an assistant softball coach at Jacksonville as well as head volleyball coach.
And she’s ready to go.
"I’m anxious just like they are," Gladden said. "I’m ready to start playing games."
Gladden said that her formula for who gets time in the circle is simple.
"It depends on the caliber of team," Gladden said, "and who worked hard that week no matter how good the pitcher is."
She’s not letting any of her bats off the hook either. When asked who she may be counting on to produce runs, her answer was very clear and concise.
"My whole lineup," she said. "The offense should be solid if we stay focused."
The Lady Bears have a solid nucleus of pitching depth and hitting. If they can "stay focused" as Gladden says, the year should be a very successful one.