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Sports

Softball: Previewing Glenbard East, Glenbard South, Glenbard West, IC Catholic Prep, Montini, St. Francis, Timothy Christian, Wheaton North, WW South, Willowbrook and York

York junior Lauren Derkowski struck out 241 batters over 124 innings last year.
York junior Lauren Derkowski struck out 241 batters over 124 innings last year.

The high school softball season is on hold for now, but that won't stop us from taking a look at what teams will look like. Here is a preview of area teams.

GLENBARD EAST RAMS

Coach: Victor Swanson

2019 record: 10-14

Top Players

Name Year Pos.

Lexi Gonzalez sr. P/OF

Paige Andrews sr. OF

Ari Arroyo sr. P

Anna Cameron jr. OF

Brooke Hernandez jr. 1B/OF

Emily Ryan jr. 1B

Madison Zeimer jr. 2B

Katie Mulatz sr. C

Ella Brooks so. 3B

Gina Raitano so. SS

Outlook: The Rams return a large core, having graduated just one player. Andrew in right field and Mulatz behind the plate provide strong senior leadership. Raitano and Brooks led Glenbard East in almost every offensive category last year. Cameron has learned the art of slap hitting and Gonzalez is versatile defensively. The Rams look forward to a full season of Hernandez; she missed time with injury last year.

"Hopefully, we can take that next step to being successful and develop our players' skills, which will turn into wins," Swanson said.

GLENBARD SOUTH RAIDERS

Coach: Julie Fonda

2019 record: 24-7

Top Players

Name Year Pos.

Grace Wallner sr. SS

Jessica Villa sr. OF

Jessica Sadorf jr. 2B

Catherine Karr jr. C

Olivia Lake sr. P

Hannah Raferty-Flatter fr. P

Outlook: The Raiders graduated four-year varsity pitcher Daniella Little, who broke the school's career strikeout record, so Fonda said "most people will count us out." But Glenbard South does bring back good experience from a sectional finalist mixed with talented youth. Leading the returners is Wallner, who hit .505 with 46 RBIs last year, Villa (.486, 51 runs scored, 29 stolen bases) and Sadorf (.430, 39 RBIs). Karr hit .378 behind the plate.

"We may surprise some people," Fonda said.

GLENBARD WEST HILLTOPPERS

Coach: Mary McGrane

2019 record: 12-18

Top Players

Name Year Pos.

Kiley Koziol jr. P/1B

Allison Ciero jr. 2B

Stacia Gregule jr. C/3B

Ava Hartsell jr. CF

Alexis Lopez jr. SS/P

Maddie Koslow jr. U

Jenna Jacob jr. P/OF

Outlook: The Hilltoppers feature a strong core of athletes who are versatile and able to play multiple positions. Koziol hit .350 last year at the plate and also struck out 87 over 60 innings on the mound. Other starters returning include Ciero, who hit .378 last year, Gregule (.364) and Hartsell (.337).

"The key will be if we can stay healthy, trust each other and have fun," McGrane said.

IC CATHOLIC PREP KNIGHTS

Coach: Frank Reaber

2019 record: 19-14

Top Players

Name Year Pos.

Rebecca Cash jr. P/3B

Daniela Murillo sr. IF

Emma Lytton sr. C/IF

Alessandra Eccardt sr. 1B

Outlook: The Knights graduated four-year varsity players Kayla Faber, Natalie Murillo and Kayla Cervantes from last year's team that reached a sectional final. Reaber hopes they get an opportunity to play this season, especially his six seniors.

"We're looking to finish in the middle of the conference," Reaper said. "We are one of the smallest schools who play schools that are larger than us."

MONTINI LADY BRONCOS

Coach: Erin Bradarich

2019 record: 17-10

Top Players

Name Year Pos.

Elyse Spaccapaniccia sr. IF/C

Kora Navarro so. P/IF

Outlook: The Lady Broncos will look for their upperclassmen to step up after graduating six seniors, including Emily Alexander, Alyssa Filkowski and Lauren Latoria who are now playing in college. Spaccapanicca, an all-conference selection, returns at first base while Navarro will lead the way in the circle. A tough nonconference schedule includes Nazareth, York and Oak Park.

"Even though we will be a young team this year, our goal is still the same – to work hard and win a state championship," Bradarich said.

ST. FRANCIS SPARTANS

Coach: Ralph Remus

2019 record: 29-4

Top Players

Name Year Pos.

Kristina Sherwin sr. CF

Tarin Malloy sr. P/1B

Annika Norman jr. P/SS

Grace Wanshek so. C/OF

Brooke Hartzell so. 3B

Shannon Cooney sr. 1B

Outlook: The Spartans graduated a ton of talent, including the battery of Carlee Clark and Caroline Caesar, from the team that took second place in Class 3A, but the cupboard isn't bare. Sherwin hit .529 with 16 doubles and 29 RBIs, and Norman hit .525 with 11 doubles and 27 RBIs. Malloy hit .380 with 10 doubles and 20 RBIs.

"We will get stronger as the season goes on and our pitching and catching gain experience," Remus said.

TIMOTHY CHRISTIAN TROJANS

Coach: Lindsay Slovey

2019 record: 5-21

Top Players

Name Year Pos.

Kelly Tameling sr. 3B/P

Emily Slovey so. P/1B

Ella Robia jr. SS

Kate Bradley jr. OF

Outlook: The Trojans graduated just three players, so they're looking forward to being more competitive this season. The pitching looks to be solid, led by Slovey and Tameling.

"We are hoping to be stronger in the field and at the plate," coach Slovey said. "Looking forward to a season with most of our varsity players returning."

WHEATON NORTH FALCONS

Coach: Zachary Peterselli

2019 record: 7-23

Top Players

Name Year Pos.

Lauren Vaughn so. 3B

Ellie Hubbard jr. SS

Jackie O'Callaghan sr. 2B

Ginny Rogers jr. 1B

Elyse Bucheit sr. P

Abby Rutgens sr. LF

Bailley Harveth fr. C

Outlook: All-conference players Vaughn and Hubbard lead six returning starters.

"We have a lot of talent, strong fielders and powerful hitters coming back to the team," Peterselli said. "We ended the season last year on a close game against Lake Park in the regional tournament, but played them tough throughout the game. This year, we look to continue to come together as a team and make a run in the postseason."

WHEATON WARRENVILLE SOUTH TIGERS

Coach: Jeffrey Pawlak

2019 record: 24-10

Top Players

Name Year Pos.

Izzy Fawcett sr. P

Katey Pierce jr. P/1B

Carly Briggs sr. SS

Katie Weisheit sr. C

Megan Adamek sr. OF

Maggie Osborne sr. C/IF

Maggie Reinert jr. OF

Lauren Tully sr. OF

Grace Butler jr. OF

Maddie Draus sr. OF/1B

Outlook: The Tigers enjoyed a stellar 2019 season, taking second in the DuKane Conference and winning a regional championship. All-conference picks Fawcett and Briggs lead the returning players. Briggs hit .394 with a .425 on-base percentage and Fawcett went 14-3 with a 2.03 ERA in 124 innings. Pierce went 10-7 with a 2.37 ERA in 92 innings, and Weisheit and Adamek both hit over .300.

"We've put together a couple of successful seasons in a row with this group of seniors and we're really excited to see how our veteran leadership meshes with some talented young players," Pawlek said.

WILLOWBROOK WARRIORS

Coach: Rachel Karos

2019 record: 20-10

Top Players

Name Year Pos.

Annmarie Knudtson jr. 2B/C

Caroline Dooley jr. P/OF

Caitlyn Kulczyski so. P/OF

Kayla Neff so. P/1B

Shannon Knudtson sr. SS

Mikayla Tomaszewski sr. OF

Outlook: The Warriors have a strong presence in the circle with Dooley, Kulczyski and Neff. They are looking to improve their consistency in the field and cut down on errors. Kulczyski (.512, 27 RBIs, 30 runs), Annmarie Knudtson (.461, 33 RBIs, 37 runs), Dooley (.449, 17 RBIs, 20 runs) and Shannon Knudtson (.369, 23 RBIs, 16 runs) anchor the lineup.

"The new bats in our lineup will also add some speed, so we are looking to be more aggressive on the basepaths this year and squeeze out some more runs," Karos said.

YORK DUKES

Coach: Brendan Holba

2019 record: 17-14

Top Players

Name Year Pos.

Lauren Derkowski jr. P

Sydney Fuglsang sr. OF

Gina Westphal sr. IF

Outlook: Holba takes over a program that's enjoyed great success in recent seasons, a year removed from a state appearance. Derkowski, a Michigan recruit, is one of the area's most dominant pitchers, with 241 strikeouts in 124 innings last year. Fuglsang hit .429 with a .663 on-base percentage, 24 RBIs and 17 stolen bases last year. Westphal hit .330 with a .625 on-base percentage, four homers and 22 RBIs.

"If we maintain an approach that is quality at-bat oriented, coupled with a pitching rotation that is strong top to bottom we will be very competitive every time we run on the field this year," Holba said.

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