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Roseville

April 10, 2013

Returning Roseville softball coach expects defense to carry the Panthers

By Jason Carmel Davis
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
The Roseville High softball team will be led by its defense, according to Panthers coach Shelly Servis. Pictured is Roseville senior infielder Shellby Bombard during a game in 2012.

ROSEVILLE — Roseville softball coach Shelly Servis is adamant when talking about the strength of this year’s team.

“We have a strong defense,” said Servis, who is back to lead the squad this season after previously coaching the Panthers from 1994 to 1996. “I’m carrying 14 girls, all of whom can play at least two positions really well. I feel we have two solid defensive teams within our one varsity squad.”

Servis comes in a year after Roseville struggled to a 6-17 mark in 2012, including a 3-9 mark in the Macomb area Conference Blue Division. The Panthers hadn’t played a game in 2013 at press time.

The defense is the reason Servis is optimistic about Roseville’s prospects. The team also returns seven players from last season.

“We don’t have a weak link, defensively,” Servis said.

The Panthers’ coach said having a solid season will be a total team effort, as she doesn’t expect one or two players to carry the squad.

“Each one of the girls has the potential to help us succeed,” Servis said. 

Servis did say she expects senior infielder Shellby Bombard to be a standout at the plate. The returning Roseville coach added freshman hurler Eryn VanderVlucht looks to have a lot of potential in the circle.

While Servis is optimistic about the season, she said the Panthers’ offense will be an area that must improve over the course of the season. She said she’s aware of a number of solid pitchers in the MAC Blue — with speed and different pitches — that Roseville has struggled against in the past.

Servis has set a goal of having a season in which the Panthers finish above .500, which would the first time Roseville finished with a winning record since 2010.

“And then we’ll build on that next year,” Servis said. “I’m looking forward to seeing what our team can do. We have a very positive group of talented girls.”

The Panthers next hit the field for a matchup against East Detroit, set for 4:30 p.m. April 10 at East Detroit.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Jason Carmel Davis at jdavis@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1107. Twitter Follow Jason on Twitter.