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Softball preview: Ashley Koziol returns to key young LT squad

Ashley Koziol back as ace for Lions

Ashley Koziol stepped in as Lyons Township's No. 1 pitcher at the end of last season.
Ashley Koziol stepped in as Lyons Township's No. 1 pitcher at the end of last season.

WESTERN SPRINGS — Lyons Township features a younger squad with just four seniors on the roster. However, the junior class has had success at the lower levels and will try to continue that on varsity.

Five of those juniors played last season and seven more join the team. Pitcher Ashley Koziol tops the group after being the No. 1 pitcher for the end of last season while her older sister, Alyssa, was injured. Ashley is committed to play her college ball at Youngstown State.

"I think she's going to do fine," said LT coach Dawn Schabacker. "It's going to be grueling because we're going to play just about every day."

Schabacker didn't schedule early games so the Lions haven't been forced to postpone any due to the cold weather, but that has left the schedule crowded once they can play.

Speedy slap hitter Stephanie D'Anna is back at second base after hitting .311 as a sophomore. Senior Becky Ryckman and Koziol were both regulars in the batting lineup last season. Junior infielder Kayla Morrissey looks to step into a bigger role.

A pair of quick sophomore outfielders, Courtney Petrosius and Alexus Pelletiere, also enter the fold for the Lions.

"I really am excited about this season," Schabacker said. "We'll get some bumps along the way, but I think at the end of the season we'll be strong."

Meet the Lions

Dawn Schabacker

2012 record: 19-15-1 (4-8 West Suburban Silver)

Top players:

Stephanie D’Anna jr. 2B

Ashley Koziol jr. P

Becky Ryckman sr. CF

First game: 4:30 p.m. Thursday March, 21 at home vs. Fenwick

.327: Batting average for returning outfielder Becky Ryckman last season

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