TICONDEROGA-There's normally little suspense for the Ticonderoga softball team. The Sentinels routinely excel.
The club posted a 14-2 Champlain Valley Athletic Conference record and 18-3 overall mark last season en route to another Section VII Class C championship. In Coach Shannon Huntington's seven seasons at the helm, the Sentinels are 95-5 in league play and 123-26 overall.
The 2011 season could be different, though.
Ticonderoga returns just two starters from a year ago, catcher Katie Palandrani and first baseman Taylor Ward, and a single reserve, Calsie Granger, a second baseman who figures to start in 2011.
"The remainder of the team will have to cut their teeth early and mature as the season progresses if they are to again be contenders to repeat as this year's division and sectional championships," said Huntington, who is co-coaching with Shelly Young.
Key to the Ti success this spring will be pitching. Rookies Jordon McKee and Kylie Austin figure to anchor the mound staff.
"Both pitchers have worked hard over the winner and both have ball movement," Huntington said.
Rounding out the roster are Megan Campney, Andrea Rich, Emily Namer, Autumn Olcott, Melissa Pocket, carrie Bevins and Jessica Blodgett. All are new to the varsity club.
"These girls all played together over the summer and into the winter and come into the spring season as confident and skilled players," Huntington said. "They have speed, quick bats, strong arms and a desire to win.
"They work hard and they know that with a good work ethic they are capable of facing their opponents with tenacity and the desire to prove themselves the champions that they are," she added.
While the Sentinels will been inexperienced, Huntington said the team's goal never changes.
"The Lady Sentinels hope to be strong contenders again this year and hope to keep the strong softball program alive in Ticonderoga," she said.