NazarethCoach: Kristen Stojetz2012 record: 19-17 (6-12 East Suburban Catholic)Top players:
Katelyn Cahill jr. SS/OF
Holly Haberkorn sr. P/1B
Jessica Sauzameda sr. C
Next game: 4:30 p.m. Thursday vs. Chicago Christian
What to watch: Six returning starters have raised expectations for Nazareth this spring. It also helps that the Roadrunners have been able to get outside and play on a turf field while most other teams haven't been outside yet.
Four-year varsity player Holly Haberkorn will be the team's top pitcher and remain key to the offense. The senior, who will be attending Benedictine University, hit .400 and posted a 2.25 ERA last spring.
Junior Katelyn Cahill brings a lot of speed to the lineup and her ability as a slap hitter can get the offense rolling.
"We have several players who are capable both mentally and physically of playing multiple positions," said coach Kristen Stojetz. "It is my job to find the right combination. I am very confident in our pitching and look for our offense to deliver one through nine."
Coach: Mike Marrese2012 record: 18-15 (7-11 ESCC)Top players:
Jenna Cairo jr. CF
Jess Mrozek jr. P/3B
Ashley Parenti jr. SS
Next game: 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at Elmwood Park
What to watch: The Friars return 15 players from last year's squad and do so under a first-year coach, Mike Marrese.
Marrese has previous varsity head coaching experience at Resurrection. The Bandits earned a state trip in his second year. With all the returners Marrese's expectations are to match that success.
"My two goals are to win our conference and to win state," Marrese said. "My goals are high goals. I think you have to set your goals high."
The junior trio of Jess Mrozek, Ashley Parenti and Jen Cairo now has the experience to match their talent. Seniors Olivia Soja (second base), Sage Juveland (left field) and Maggie Horn (first base) are also expected to play important roles this season.
Coach: Tricia McGleam2012 record: 9-14 (5-1 GCAC White)Top players:
Arterrya Edmond fr. SS
Tiana Little so. 3B
Rebecca Ruiz jr. P/CF
Clarissa Sandoval sr. LF
What to watch: The Lady Chargers have a mix of youth and experience and are hoping that comes together in the form of a conference title.
St. Joseph made it to the final of the GCAC White tournament last year, but lost to Regina. Tiana Little, Rebecca Ruiz and Clarissa Sandoval are key returners that will lead the team's push to move up. Freshman Arterrya Edmond expects to step in at the high pressure position of shortstop.