With five freshmen expected to contribute, the future certainly looks bright for Shelton High\u2019s softball team. But don\u2019t count out the\u00a0Gaelettes\u00a0in the short term either. \u201cWe\u2019re definitely going to make the postseason. I just think that\u2019s a no doubter with this group,\u201d coach Joann Desrochers said. Shelton will have to find a way to win three more games than it did a year ago to qualify for the state playoffs. Coming off a 5-14 season that included a trio of one-run nail-biting defeats, the new-look\u00a0Gaelettes\u00a0are primed to make a run at a state postseason berth. Qualifying for the Southern Connecticut Conference tourney will be more of\u00a0a\u00a0challenge, but\u00a0is within reach. \u201cI\u2019m hoping to make it this year,\u201d Desrochers said. Tough competition within the division stands to come from Daniel Hand of Madison and Foran of Milford. Shelton opens the season Monday with a home contest against Wilbur Cross of New Haven at 3:45, in the first of three straight home tilts to begin the campaign. The\u00a0Gaelettes\u00a0will get looks at Foran and Hand in back-to-back games, April 10 at home and April 12 on the road. In addition to the influx of youth is an experienced returning group. Senior captains are Maggie Carlucci at second base, catcher Bry Heuser, and Emily\u00a0Renkowsky, who is recovering from injury as the regular season gets started. Junior shortstop Jenna Bennett also brings experience to the infield. Third baseman Anna Leone, center fielder Amanda\u00a0Kiman\u00a0and twin Rachel\u00a0Kiman\u00a0(position to be determined), along with left fielder Jackie Jenco, Alexis Resto and pitcher Julia\u00a0Krijgsman\u00a0are freshmen whom Desrochers and assistants Stacey Garrity and Mike\u00a0Krijgsman\u00a0anticipate making an impact. \u201cWe\u2019re a very young team. I\u2019m excited to see what they can do. They already earned their place,\u201d Carlucci said as the preseason unfolded last week. \u201cI\u2019m excited to see what they can do in my senior season. I\u2019m hoping to go far this year.\u201d What makes expectations so high is the talent level of the incoming team members, who have played youth softball together for years. \u201cIt\u2019s a pretty cohesive group. They can hit. They can field,\u201d Desrochers said. A key to success will be stringing hits together to produce runs. Shelton scored its share last year, putting up seven or more runs a whopping 10 times last spring. \u201cI\u2019m pumped for this season. I think this is going to be a really exciting season,\u201d Desrochers said.