CICERO — Armed with an experienced roster that is in better health than it was last season, Morton has high hopes.
Senior Gabby King played through an injured back last season but appears to be back at full strength. She won't pitch like she did before the injury, but King should still be an essential cog in the Mustangs' lineup. King was the team's top hitter as a sophomore.
"I'm looking for her to have a big season," said coach Tom Eukovich.
Another four-year varsity player, Alyssa Galasso, will be the main pitcher. Galasso has been in that role the past two seasons. Eukovich described her as a finesse pitcher. Galasso, who will play third base when not pitching, is signed to play for Morton College along with teammates Claudia Torres and Toni Franta.
Franta was recovering from an ACL injury her junior year. She came back late in the season, but wasn't at full strength.
Two seniors that started for the basketball team, Isza Gonzalez and Amanda Kubicki, are also on the team. Gonzalez was an all-conference center fielder last season.
"We have six seniors that had a lot of playing time last year that hopefully they can have a strong senior year," Eukovich said. "The big thing is we got a couple kids that had injuries so I'm looking for them to contribute more."
Junior catcher Jenna Boyajian is another player that saw significant time last season. She had a strong start to last season as a sophomore, but struggled in the second half.
All those returners and a clean bill of health, so far, means Eukovich and the Mustangs are thinking bigger than last season's 16-18 record.
"I'm looking to be over .500 in the conference and over .500 overall," Eukovich said. "We are hosting a regional this year and hopefully can compete for a regional championship.
"I like my team and I'm anxious to play because we're a senior-oriented team and I think the kids are hungry to go out as winners."
Meet the Mustangs
Coach: Tom Eukovich
2012 record: 16-18 (5-7 West Suburban Gold)
Toni Franta sr. 1B
Alyssa Galasso sr. P
Isza Gonzalez sr. CF
Gabby King sr. SS
Next game: 4:30 p.m. Thursday vs. King
6: Seniors on the Mustangs' roster, all with significant varsity experience