Ashley Webber knows her young Brookfield East softball team is going to make mistakes.
But whether the Spartans take a step forward from a 6-17 record in 2016 will come down to whether they can learn quickly and improve throughout the season.
"We are going to be young again," Webber said. "This year we only have two seniors, two freshmen and the rest of the roster are sophomores and juniors. We are looking to work on getting rid of the one bad inning and use our strengths as best we can."
Brookfield East, which went 2-11 in conference play last season to finish in seventh place, must replace a pair of first-team All-Greater Metro selections in infielder Syd Jahnke and utility player Haley Knight.
The Spartans return a battery made up of honorable mention All-Greater Metro players in sophomore pitcher Hannah Maney and junior catcher Emily Gaskell. Other key returners include junior third baseman Anna Mularz and sophomore center fielder Bella Moss.
Webber feels freshman infielder Anna Gaskell, sophomore outfielder Julia Vitale and sophomore infielder/catcher Maddie Krogwold are key newcomers to the roster.
After having its first two games postponed due to inclement weather, Brookfield East was scheduled to open its season at home against West Allis Central on April 3 before facing Menomonee Falls on April 4 and Sussex Hamilton on April 6 prior to spring break.
"We believe in defense and have been working hard on it despite the weather trying its best to keep us inside," Webber said. "We are looking forward to a couple key games before spring break and to come out with expectations that we are going to make mistakes. But we are headstrong to learn from them and get better each game, each day and each week.
"Attitude, hustle and communication are what we are about; we hope that it makes a difference on and off the field."