Photo by Diane Cox
(Front row, from left) Elizabeth Rexford, Jordyn Cable, Shelbie Jackson and Alexis Stumpf; (middle row) Andrea Lawson, Cindy Scroggins, Taylor Antoine, Abby Palen,Paige Thornburgh and Sage Ross; (back row) Lindsey Scroggins, Samantha Sherer, Bailey Moore, PhoebeBooher and Hannah Rexford.
It’s something new and also something familiar for the Roxana Shells this season. They are taking a page out of the past and aiming to build on their future.
Mike Arbuthnot returns as head coach, replacing Pat Keith. Arbuthnot guided the Shells from 1989-95 and also coached them for two stints in girls’ basketball. He’s currently the Highland High girls’ coach.
“I’m excited about it and it’s a good fit for me,” Arbuthnot said. “We have a really good group of kids.”
His main goal is to see the Shells progress. Roxana went 5-22 last season and seeks major improvement this year. The Shells are scheduled to open their campaign Saturday at Mascoutah.
“There were some growing pains last year. But it really has been a good start to this season,” Arbuthnot said of initial workouts. “The girls are working hard and have a good attitude. We’re young, though we have some game experience.”
Arbuthnot served as an assistant baseball coach at Alton High the last two years, but decided he wanted to get back into softball. He foresees the Shells building on things and making positive strides.
“With this many young players, we will be looking for improvement daily,” he said. “We should take bigger steps when we can get going with our games. I can see us climbing the ladder a little bit. It will depend upon our hitting and if we do the little things to win games.”
Following their season opener, the Shells will also play at Calhoun (March 25) and Civic Memorial (March 26). Then they welcome Breese Central (March 27) before opening their South Central Conference slate at Pana (March 28). There’s also an early-season home date with Alton (March 30).
Seniors Cindy Scroggins, Elizabeth Rexford and Andrea Lawson figure to serve as the Shells’ leaders. Scroggins, a first/third baseman, hit .360 with 11 RBIs last season. Rexford, a catcher/second baseman, batted .330 and had five RBIs. Lawson, who was 5-19 on the mound, also can play first base. Lawson has signed to play with Mineral Area College next season.
Arbuthnot has pitching depth this season with freshman Hannah Rexford capable of taking her turns on the mound. She’s also an outfielder.
Junior outfielder Sam Sherer and junior infielder Alexis Stumpf also intend to bolster the Shells. They combined for eight runs batted in last season.
Abbey Palen, a sophomore infielder; catcher/infielder Shelby Jackson and outfielder Taylor Antoine added to the mix. Jackson and Antoine are also sophomores. Those three Shells combined for 14 runs batted in last season. Jackson supplied seven of them.
Hannah Rexford is one of seven freshmen in the mix of things. Phoebe Booher is a pitcher/third baseman, as is Bailey Moore. Paige Thornburgh, Sage Ross, Lindsey Scroggins and Jordyn Cable are cast as outfielders.
“We have three pitchers — two of them freshmen — and they will all get some work,” Arbuthnot said. “It’s not like one pitcher is going to work 200 innings.”
Roxana has nine conference games, one against each team, in the 10-school league. The Shells have other nonconference contests against Staunton, Jersey, Litchfield, Granite City, Waterloo Gibault, East Alton-Wood River, Freeburg, Bunker Hill, Highland, Collinsville, Marquette Catholic, Metro East Lutheran and Red Bud.
Scroggins is a senior and returning top hitter for Roxana. As a junior, Scroggins hit .360 with a homer, nine doubles and 11 RBIs in 2014.
A senior pitcher, Lawson returns to the circle after logging 141 innings for the Shells a year ago. She will pitch for Mineral Area College next season.
Coach: Mike Arbuthnot
Record last season: First year, Shells were 5-22 in 2014
Career record: Coached Roxana from 1989-95, NA
Andrea Lawson, pitcher/infielder
Elizabeth Rexford, catcher/infielder
Cindy Scroggins, infielder
Sam Sherer, outfielder
Alexis Stumpf, infielder
Abbey Palen, infielder
Shelby Jackson, catcher/infielder
Taylor Antoine, outfielder
Hannah Rexford, pitcher/outfielder
Phoebe Booher, pitcher/infielder
Paige Thornburgh, outfielder
Sage Ross, outfielder
Bailey Moore, pitcher/infielder
Lindsey Scroggins, outfielder
Jordyn Cable, outfielder
March 21 – at Mascoutah (DH), 10 a.m.
March 25 – at Calhoun, 4:30 p.m.
March 26 – at CM, 4:15 p.m.
March 27 – vs. Breese Central, 4:30 p.m.
March 28 – at Pana*, noon
March 30 – vs. Alton, 4:30 p.m.
March 31 – at Staunton, 4:30 p.m.
April 1 – at Jersey, 4:30 p.m.
April 3 – at Litchfield*, 11 a.m.
April 4 – vs. Granite City (DH), 11 a.m.
April 6 – vs. Waterloo Gibault, 4:30 p.m.
April 7 – at Southwestern*, 4:30 p.m.
April 8 – vs. EA-WR, 4 p.m.
April 10 – at Gillespie*, 4:30 p.m.
April 13 – at Freeburg, 4:30 p.m.
April 14 – at Bunker Hill, 4 p.m.
April 20 – vs. Hillsboro*, 4:30 p.m.
April 21 – vs. Highland, 4:15 p.m.
April 22 – vs. Staunton*, 4:30 p.m.
April 24 – vs. Gillespie, 4:30 p.m.
April 25 – vs. Collinsville (DH), 10 a.m.
April 27 – vs. Carlinville*, 5 p.m.
April 29 – at Red Bud, 4:30 p.m.
May 1 – vs. Southwestern, 4:30 p.m.
May 4 – at EA-WR, 4 p.m.
May 6 – vs. Marquette, 4:30 p.m.
May 8 – at Carlinville, 5 p.m.
May 9 – at Vandalia*, 11 a.m.
May 13 – vs. Greenville*, 4:30 p.m.
* Denotes conference games