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High School Softball Preview

Eureka reached the Class 4 Final Four last fall but coach Mark Mosley has just one starter back from the team. The Wildcats went 27-5 but Eureka will depend on its new players to step up.

Lafayette, which lost in the district title game to Eureka, has six starters back from a 20-5 squad. Standout pitcher Madison Siefert has verbally committed to play at Penn State.

Marquette coach Chris Meador has five starters back from a 20-5 squad that shared the Suburban West Conference title with Oakville.

Coach Amy Doyle has eight players back from last year’s 20-8 Parkway North squad that shared the Suburban South Conference crown. The Vikings again will be led by Anna Chisolm, who hit .667 last season.

Parkway West coach Jeff Chazen has an experienced club that has three girls already committed to play in college. The Longhorns will be a team to watch this fall.

Kennedy drops from Class 3 to Class 2 after the MSHAA redrew its classifications. The Celts were 20-5 last year. This fall, coach Troy Ufer’s Kennedy squad will compete in the postseason with schools more in line with its size.

District tournaments will be held Oct. 8-11. The state tournament will be in Springfield and will be played Oct. 24-25.

Here is a look at the teams in alphabetical order:

Eureka Wildcats

2013 record: 27-5. Finished third in state.

Coach: Mark Mosley. Entering fifth year as head coach with 84-22 overall record.

Assistant coaches: Jim Daffron and Anna Voigt.

Returning number of starters: 1.

Players on team to watch for this fall: Senior Casey Plank; junior Abby Deane, junior Katelyn Massa, junior Erin Lofton, sophomore Chelsey Overstreet.

Newcomers expected to contribute: Pretty much everybody is a newcomer, so I expect to have multiple girls step up and contribute.

Captains: No captains in our program.

Players who have committed to a college: None.

Team strengths: Pitching and defense.

Goals: Win districts.

Suburban West Conference American Division: Eureka, Lafayette, Lindbergh, Marquette, Parkway South. National Division: Fox, Mehlville and Northwest, Oakville, Seckman.

Favorites to win conference: Oakville and Lafayette.

Class 4 District 2 teams: Eureka, Lafayette, Northwest, Rolla and Washington.

Quote: “We have a group of girls with very little experience at the varsity level, so the regular season will be a lot of trial and error, and I’m sure we’ll incur a lot of bumps in the road to learn from,” Mosley said. “I’m very excited about seeing our growth as individuals and as a team, and by the time districts start, I believe we’ll have worked hard enough to be ready to compete for a district championship. The key to us being successful this year will be to learn from every game played and become better as the year goes.”

 

Kennedy Celts

2013 record: 20-5. Won AAA Conference. District runnerup.

Coach: Troy Ufert. Entering seventh year as head coach. Has 113-30 record with five conference championships, four district championships and two state quarterfinal appearances.

Assistant coaches: Ashley Kroener, Steve Kroener, Rick Koettker, Sam Powers, Justin Sampson.

Returning number of starters: 5.

Players on team to watch for this fall: P Amanda Cabrera, INF Carly Sowell, OF Lindsey Lehman, OF/INF Sydney Gregory, C/OF Melissa Kasting, utility Christina Coronado.

Newcomers expected to contribute: 1B/OF Alison Mines, OF/P Danielle Belt, INF Jackie Green, INF Nina O’Connell, 2B/OF Gabby Scheberle, OF Katie Berry.

Captains: None.

Players who have committed to a college: None.

Team strengths: Team strengths should be our pitching, team speed, and our defense up the middle.

Goals: Our goals are the same every year. We want to improve every day and be playing our best softball in October for the playoffs. Along the way we want to win our conference and our district.

Teams in Archdiocesan Athletic Association Small School Division: Bishop DuBourg, Cardinal Ritter, Kennedy, Lutheran St. Charles, O’Fallon Christian, Trinity.

Favorites to win conference: With Dubourg coming down from the AAA Large School Division of the conference it should make the AAA Small School Division even more competitive, and Lutheran St .Charles returns a talented group of young ladies from last years squad.

Class 2 District 3 teams: Brentwood, Cleveland NJROTC, Kennedy, Lutheran North, Metro, Principia.

Quote: “We are excited about the new season, but we understand we have a lot of work to do,” Ufert said. ” We have graduated some really strong players the past few seasons, but we have managed to stay successful with hard work and dedication. For that to continue we need to improve a little bit each day. We have a strong core group of players returning from last year in Amanda Cabrera, Carly Sowell, Lindsey Lehman, Sydney Gregory, and Melissa Kasting. They all had significant playing time last year. A lot of our success will have to come from the leadership of the returning players and how well the other players come along during the season. If we keep improving each day and working hard at practice we should have another successful season.”

 

Lafayette Lancers

2013 record: 20-5, Lost to Eureka in district championship.

Coach: Scott DeNoyer. Entering 11th year as head coach with a 198-79-1 record.

Assistant coaches: Ashley Lewis, Christine Bodine, Jodie Shead.

Returning number of starters: 6.

Players on team to watch for this fall: Madison Seifert, Kaycee Cohen, Marissa Gress, Hannah Gessner, Jenny Kohl, Adison Balderston.

Captains: Madison Seifert, Jenny Kohl.

Players who have committed to a college: Madison Seifert to Penn State.

Team strengths: Pitching, defense and experience

Goals: Win state.

Suburban West Conference American Division: Eureka, Lafayette, Lindbergh, Marquette, Parkway South. National Division: Fox, Mehlville and Northwest, Oakville, Seckman.

Class 4 District 2 teams: Eureka, Lafayette, Northwest, Rolla and Washington.

Quote: “I am excited to get the season started,” DeNoyer said. “We have a great group of young ladies that work very well together and represent the program well.”

 

Marquette Mustangs

2013 record: 20-5. Shared the Suburban West Conference title. Won district championship. Lost in sectional to Fort Zumwalt North.

Coach: Chris Meador. Entering 14th year as head coach.

Assistant coaches: Kevin Juergens, Kevin Sharitz, and Don Coons.

Returning number of starters: 5.

Players on team to watch for this fall: Junior OF Megan Clince, senior 1B Lauren Disper, junior OF Amanda Lang, senior P Kayla Bachman.

Newcomers expected to contribute: None.

Captains: None.

Players who have committed to a college: None.

Team strengths: Strengths include our solid defense and hopefully our ability to score some runs.

Goals: Our goal each year is to win a district title and advance into state playoffs. We want to be playing our beat ball in October.

Suburban West Conference American Division: Eureka, Lafayette, Lindbergh, Marquette, Parkway South. National Division: Fox, Mehlville and Northwest, Oakville, Seckman.

Favorites to win conference: Lafayette and Eureka.

Class 4 District District 6 teams: Ladue, Marquette, Parkway Central, Parkway North, Parkway West, St. Joseph’s Academy.

Quote: “We are excited to see if we can build on our success from last year,” Meador said. “We have big holes to fill but I feel we have capable players to make us very competitive this season.”

 

Parkway Central Colts

2013 3-16. Lost in first round of districts

Coach: Tim Cerutti. Entering his ninth year as head coach and 18th year overall.

Assistant Coaches: Bill Schmalz and Brittany Lee. JV coaches are David Jafari and Tom Chambers.

Returning number of starters: 6.

Players on team to watch for this fall: Senior SS Jaime Gottlieb, senior 3B Melanie Wasserman, junior P/OF Lauren Greenstein.

Newcomers expected to contribute: Sophomores P/OF Elena Hipp C Alexis Hibbs C, Geena Stephens Util.

Captains: Jaime Gottlieb and Melanie Wasserman. I expect both to have strong seasons. Melanie is already a two time first team all-conference selection.

Team strenghts: Our strength is the left side of the infield and the fact that our returning starters were the top players from last year. Hopefully, they will all be a year better.

Goals: As always our two main goals for the season are to improve every day both as a player and a person and to have fun. On the more practical end of goals, we expect to increase our win total from last season and to compete more consistently. A team goal is to be much more competitive this year game in and game out.

Suburban Central Conference National Divison: Clayton, Ladue, Parkway Central, Parkway West, University City. American Division: Maplewood, McCluer South-Berkeley, Jennings, Affton and Normandy.

Favorites to win conference: Parkway West with a very solid team and Affton with very strong pitching are probably the favorites to win the conference.

Class 4, District 6 teams: Ladue, Marquette, Parkway Central, Parkway North, Parkway West, St. Joseph’s Academy.

Quote: “I’m really looking forward to seeing how well we play the second half of the season,” Cerutti said. “We are young in many key places and I think that we should improve as we go. If our pitching shows the improvement that it potentially could, we could surprise some teams along the way. We should be a better team. Since many of our key players are young, I expect us to have a better second half than first half. So far, I have been very impressed with the effort in practices.

 

Parkway North Vikings

2013 record: 20-8. Finished in a tie for Suburban South Conference title.

Coach: Amy Doyle. Entering fifth year as head coach.

Assistant coaches: Brett Katz, Kirsten Krause, Mary Christine Sander.

Returning number of starters: 8.

Players on team to watch for this fall: Senior Anna Chisolm and junior Ria Smith will continue to contribute both offensively and defensively.

Captains: Yet to be determined.

Players who have committed to a college: Anna Chisolm has committed to Jacksonville State.

Team strengths: Our team chemistry and overall playing experience improves every year as the players continue to get stronger mentally and physically. We have a tight knit group this year most of whom have played together for the last three years. We have an outstanding group of seniors in Anna Chisolm, Madison Eacret, Emily Evans, Sara Stevens, Cassidy Taggert, and Marissa Voelker so I am excited about our prospects this year.

Goals: Our goal this year is to win every pitch and to stay in games both mentally and physically. If we can leave it all on the field after each and every game the season will be a success.

Teams in Suburban XII Conference South Division: Kirkwood, Parkway North, Pattonville, Ritenour, Summit, Webster Groves. North Division: Hazelwood Central, Hazelwood East, Hazelwood West, McCluer, McCluer North, Riverview Gardens.

Class 4 District 6 teams: Ladue, Marquette, Parkway Central, Parkway North, Parkway West, St. Joseph’s Academy.

Quote: “I am really excited about this upcoming season,” Doyle said. “We have a great group of student athletes who are not only strong players committed to the team, but perhaps more importantly, they are good well rounded young adults who are a joy to coach.”

 

Parkway South Patriots

2013 record: 13-13.

Coach: Amy Belding. Entering third year as head coach.

Assistant coaches: Marvin Medcalf and Joe Rhodes.

Players on team to watch for this fall: Senior Kaylyn Breitbach, senior Tori Spiguzza, junior P Kaylie Wurdack.

Players who have committed to a college: Kaylyn Breitbach to Saint Louis University.

Team strengths: Strong senior leadership, returning our hurler to the mound.

Goals: Win districts.

Suburban West Conference American Division: Eureka, Lafayette, Lindbergh, Marquette, Parkway South. National Division: Fox, Mehlville and Northwest, Oakville, Seckman.

Class 4, District 3 teams: Gateway, Kirkwood, Nerinx Hall, Parkway South, Ursuline Academy, Webster Groves.

Quote: “Our girls have been working very hard in the post season and throughout the summer to get better,” Beldin said. “We are excited to put all that hard work on the field and compete with some of the best teams in the area.”

 

Parkway West Longhorns

2013 record: 12-15.

Coach: Jeff Chazen. Entering sixth year as head coach.

Assistant coaches: Don Rothermich, John Sloop, Ryan Pietsch, Lindsey Miller and Mary Monachello.

Returning number of starters: 6.

Players on team to watch for this fall: Senior 3B Ellie Ottensmeyer, senior SS Kennedy Frank to Drake, senior 2B Taylor Scott, P/CF Grace Gwin, C Andrea Gordon.

Newcomers expected to contribute: Allie Guccione, Molly Sewester.

Captains: Lee McMullin.

Players who have committed to a college: 3B Ellie Ottensmeyer to William Jewel, SS Kennedy Frank to Drake, 2B Taylor Scott to Lindenwood.

Team strengths: Have a veteran infield with three all-conference players, a top catcher behind the plate and decent speed in the outfield. Pitchers should be able to pitch to contact and get hitters out.

Teams in Suburban Central Conference National Division: Clayton, University City, Ladue, Parkway West and Parkway Central. American Division: Maplewood, McCluer South-Berkeley, Jennings, Affton and Normandy.

Favorites to win conference: Example: list couple teams

Class 4 District 6 teams: Ladue, Marquette, Parkway Central, Parkway North, Parkway West, St. Joseph’s Academy.

Quote: “On paper this team is one of the most talented I have ever coached,” Chazen said. “The potential is there for a breakout season with contributions being made by numerous players. All we have to do is play to our potential. That is always the challenge. We definitely have high hopes this season.”

 

Principia Panthers

2013 record: 3-10.

Coach: Ken Leavoy. Entering 15th year as head coach.

Assistant coaches: Paul Perea, Karen Whitney.

Returning number of starters: 5.

Players on team to watch for this fall: C Lauren Daugherty, who has been great for two years and expect it too continue. Very solid behind the plate.

Newcomers expected to contribute: Hannah Hathaway returns after staying at home in California last season. She brings a big bat into the line up and can play several infield positions.

Captains: Not named yet.

Players who have committed to a college: None.

Team strengths: They love the game and they play with plenty of enthusiasm.

Goals: Get better every game. Play the game all out and with sportsmanship.

Teams in Metro League: John Burroughs, Lutheran North, Lutheran South, MICDS, Principia, Priory, Westminster Christian Academy.

Favorites to win conference: Lutheran South, Westminster.

Class 2 District 3 teams: Brentwood, Cleveland NJROTC, Kennedy, Lutheran North, Metro, Principia.

Quote: “Coaching at Principia is a privilege as it is getting to work with such great kids,” Leavoy said. “What we lack in experience and game knowledge we make up for in effort and support of each other. It’s always a good season at Prin.”

 

St. Joseph’s Academy Angels

2013 record: 13-10. Won MWAA White Conference.

Coach: J.P. Cummings. Entering 19th year as head coach with a 238-182 overall record.

Assistant coaches: Laura Grace.

Returning number of starters: 7.

Players on team to watch for this fall: Senior INF Ashley Sink, senior INF Brice Bement, senior utility Kelsey Ponder, junior INF Jennifer Pendleton, junior P/OF Stacy Beilsmith, sophomore P/OF Sarah Shepard, sophomore C Liz Weppner.

Newcomers expected to contribute: Freshman P/INF Morgan Wilson.

Captains: None yet.

Players who have committed to a college: None.

Team strengths: Senior leadership, getting the ball into play consistently, athleticism.

Goals: To get better with each game, to be playing our best as the post season arrives, have quality at-bats, and to be prepared.

Teams in Metro Women’s Athletic Association: Cor Jesu, Incarnate Word Academy, Nerix Hall, St. Joseph’s Academy, Ursuline.

Favorites to win conference: Everyone is prepared and well coached that I do not know if there is a favorite.

Class 4 District 6 teams: Ladue, Marquette, Parkway Central, Parkway North, Parkway West, St. Joseph’s Academy.

Quote: “We want to get better pitch by pitch, game by game, and to prepare ourselves to be at our best each time the ball is pitched,” Cummings said.

 

Westminster Christian Academy Wildcats

2013 record: 5-16.

Coach: Mallory Rohlfing. Entering second year as head coach.

Assistant coaches: Erica Osborne, Darla Weststeyn.

Returning number of starters: 3.

Players on team to watch for this fall: Junior P Keely Sweet, junior INF Taylor Dorsey.

Newcomers expected to contribute: Freshmen OF Deanne Pfyl, Izzi Clawson and freshmen INF Maddie Volding.

Captains: Juniors Annie Backs and Taylor Dorsey, senior Stephanie Strothkamp.

Players who have committed to a college: None.

Team strengths: We have a solid core of girls that, in a short amount of time, have proved that they love working hard. The sky is the limit for a team that supports one another and shows up each day eager to learn.

Goals: We have three main goals: Each day we strive to be the best teammates, the best softball players, and ultimately be the women God intended us to be.

Teams in Metro League: John Burroughs, Lutheran North, Lutheran South, MICDS, Principia, Priory, Westminster Christian Academy.

Class 3 District 6 teams: Duchesne, Orchard Farm, St. Charles, St. Charles West, Visitation Academy, Westminster Christian Academy.

Quote: “This team is made up of a group of girls that have a love for the game and a love for their teammates,” Rohlfing said. “I’ve been impressed by their strong work ethic and desire to learn. We have a great group of leaders returning and an exciting incoming freshmen class. I’m looking forward to see how we’ll grow throughout the season.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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