2013 Record: 16-15.
Head coach: John O’Connor.
• Who’s gone: Sophia Lamb, Megan Beckow, Abby Urchell, Chelsea Christopher, Maggie O’Toole, Michelle Estand, Colleen Burns.
• Who’s back: Carolyn Roberts, OF, Sr.; Jenna Haase, C, Jr.; Bethany Salazar, OF/P, So.; Maddie Vojacek, INF/P, So. Carly Rickert, INF, Jr.; Abby Langevin, INF/C, Jr.; Nicole Larkin, INF, Jr.
• Who’s new: Caroline Andrade, INF, Jr.; Kayla Izzo, OF, Jr.; Maddie Meisl, INF/OF So.
• Outlook: A solid core graduated from last season’s regional-championship squad, but Lady Mustangs coach John O’Connor is confident that enough talent remains on hand to set Evergreen Park up for another charge toward postseason glory. One more regional crown would make it three in the past five years for the Lady Mustangs. Headlining in 2014 will be the quartet of all-area selections Bethany Salazar (.575) and Maddie Vojacek (5-1, 1.80 earned-run average), plus Jenna Haase (.465) and Carolyn Roberts (.415). Of that group, only Roberts will graduate in May.
• Coach’s comments: “We need all of our returning starters to play up to their potential and hope a couple of our new players can fill the holes left by last year’s seniors. We must also stay healthy and get continued improvement from our younger players.
“Our strength should be hitting again and we should be solid with our pitchers. Elevating our defensive play and depth will be a concern.” — O’Connor.
Head coach: Jill Harvey
• Who’s gone: Tessa Dearth, Sharon Desparrois, Jordan Lenihan.
• Who’s back: Terri Dearth, P/3B, Sr.; Sabrina Miller, C/3B Sr.; Kylie Maloy, P, Jr.; Madeline Cahue, OF, Jr.; Abby Malloy, P, So. Dana Bunting, P, So., Sam Pakula, P/INF, So.; Katie O’Leary, OF, So.; Molly Murphy, INF, So.
• Who’s new: Jenny Desparrois, P/1B, Sr.; Amber Anderson, OF, Fr.
• Outlook: When the news came that Mt. Assisi would close at the end of the current school year, it sent the entire student population reeling. However, the softball team has used it as a clarion call to come together and focus on one goal: finishing as high as possible. Seniors Terri Dearth and Sabrina Miller bring the leadership and talent their teammates can follow. Dearth pitched in eight games and posted a 4-to-1 strikeouts-to-walks ratio (40-10), which helped the Screeching Eagles reach a regional-championship contest. She also played five games as Mt. Assisi’s catcher, recording an impressive 31 putouts and batting .460 with respective on-base and slugging percentages of .480 and .553. Miller will see more time behind the plate this season.
• Coach’s comments: “The girls are all devastated by the whole [closing] situation, but they’ve also all banded together and decided that if they’re going out, then they’re going out big and on top. They’re all displaying a determination that they’ve never had before.
“Molly Murphy is turning into a hitting machine, Kylie [Maloy] and Abby [Malloy] will see a lot of time on the mound for us [and] Maddie Cahue will be leading off for us again. Not only does she possess speed, but she’s become a real strong slap hitter. A lot of these girls are now playing travel ball, and you can see the strides they’re making in their individual games.
“For all our experience, I really think it’s going to be the year of the sophomore for this team.” — Harvey.
2013 Record: 22-15.
Head coach: Jim Fabianski.
• Who’s gone: Candice Koch, Ellie Forkin, Meg Flaherty, Sam Radunz.
• Who’s back: Katie Krzus, 1B, Jr.; Sarah Herold, P, Sr.; Brooke Heimerl, 3B, Sr.; Karli McLaughlin, C, Sr.
• Who’s new: Briana Soltis, C/INF, So.
• Outlook: The Lady Eagles took flight in the latter portion of the 2013 season, winning nine of their last 11 games and reaching the Elite Eight in Class 4A by stunning defending state champion Marist in a sectional final. While some of the mainstays from that Sandburg roster have graduated, coach Jim Fabianski has a few solid returnees who are eager to make another deep postseason run. The Lady Eagles’ three key seniors are pitcher Sarah Herold (2.53 earned-run average, 166 strikeouts), Karli McLaughlin(.306, 5 homers, 23 RBI) and Brooke Heimerl, all of whom are entering their third varsity campaign. Junior Katie Krzus (.385, .726 slugging pct., 9 homers, 41 RBI) will again serve as a primary power source.
• Coach’s comments: “As always, one of our primary goals for the season is to get downstate. After having been to the supersectionals last year, I believe that the girls got a taste of what it takes and they are excited to better themselves from last year.” — Fabianski.
Name Pos. Yr.
Cierra Adamus INF Sr.
Emily Griskell P/1B Sr.
Madeline Hanley — Jr.
Brooke Heimerl 3B Sr.
Sarah Herold P Sr.
Katie Krzus 1B Jr.
Caroline Kuzel P/OF Sr.
Lauren McCaughey — Jr.
Karli McLaughlin C Sr.
Maddie Poole — Jr.
Kasi Sanders — Jr.
Lauren Schultz — Jr.
Brianna Soltis C/INF So.
Kaitlin Swaw — Jr.
Kristen Zarate — Jr.
For further detailed coverage of the complete area, pick up this weeks edition of The Reporter.