Success has been a word of relatively small meaning for the Brown Deer softball team in recent years.
A good effort against a good team here, avoiding a massive blowout by a really good team there and the occasional hard-fought victory against an equal on a really good day.
But nothing really strung together to make up anything really resembling full-scale success, such as a winning overall record, or a series of strong competitive efforts in the Woodland Conference. Last year's 1-20 record was an example of recent tough times for the Falcons.
But Brown Deer coach Chris Miller thinks that's going to change this year.
"It (the team) is loaded with seniors," he said. "That being said, we are looking for big things this season. We have started this journey a long time ago. The seniors on this roster have been with me since they were in youth ball in fourth and fifth grade. It is definitely going to be tough when this season ends.
"During our preseason signup meeting, I mentioned to the girls that we could win games this season. In fact, I told them that I feel they can be a .500 team this season. I firmly believe that. We have good softball players.
"We have two returning Woodland Conference East selections in senior Kacie Zak, and sophomore Mya McDaniel. We have good leadership from our captains, three seniors and a junior. We have to play better softball and limit our mistakes.
"Last season we let mistakes bring us down and the spiral was hard to overcome. We have worked hard to instill the mentality of 'the next play' in our girls. We expect that we will live up to our reputation of being tough and play each game through no matter the score. We can and should win this season."
Seniors for the Falcons this season include utility players Lindsey Greenman, Torie Rosenberger, Jayla Bolton and Gabrielle Bruner; infielder Brianna Key, and Zak.
Zak will get help in the circle from both Bruner and junior Emily Lyman. Other juniors include infielders Maureen Murphy and Hannah Stampa.
If the weather held, the Falcons were scheduled for a hectic three-game week, including a visit from powerful New Berlin Eisenhower on Thursday, April 6. They will then host nonconference opponent Milwaukee Lutheran on Monday, April 10.