With six seniors returning from a team that advanced to the second round of the playoffs last season, Highland Park has higher postseason aspirations this spring.
The Lady Scots carry over momentum and chemistry from last year’s District 11-5A runner-up squad. Many of those returnees have three or four years of varsity experience. “These girls have a lot of experience, and they know what it takes to get there,” said HP head coach Michael Pullen. “A district title is definitely within reach.”
One of them is catcher Dawson Dabboussi, who in November signed to play college softball at St. Edward’s University in Austin. She became the first Lady Scots player to earn a softball scholarship in almost two decades.
“These girls have a lot of experience, and they know what it takes to get there. A district title is definitely within reach.” -Michael Pullen
Ava Sims was last year’s 11-5A defensive MVP at shortstop. Center fielder Grace Brown has a strong arm to go with her speed in the leadoff spot. Ciara Fortenberry is a three-year starter in the outfield. Then there’s pitcher Lilly Reenan, who leads a talented sophomore class.
Pullen credits the program’s steady uptick in part to the growth of the HP Bombers youth program, which has developed into a reliable feeder system. Rising participation among younger players in the Park Cities has translated into greater depth and quality at the varsity and the subvarsity levels for the Lady Scots.
Now the goal becomes for the current seniors to finish on a high note, and continue to raise the bar for the program. After all, HP has never advanced past the second round of the playoffs.
“We’re hoping for the same success, if not better,” Pullen said.