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Wheaton, West Chicago produce improved players on the diamond

Rising stars emerge for area high school baseball, softball teams

Published: Thursday, May 9, 2013 1:49 p.m. CST • Updated: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 9:59 p.m. CST
Sarah Minor — Wheaton North third baseman Kat Meyer scoops a throw out of the dirt during a game April 2 at York.

Many high school players are debuting in the spotlight this spring for area baseball and softball teams – from seniors stepping into leadership roles to underclassmen earning starting varsity jobs.

Tom Colletti

School: Wheaton North baseball

Class: Senior

Position: Pitcher/infielder

Impact: After missing last season with a torn labrum, this senior has returned this spring and become a dominant force on the Falcons’ pitching staff. Colletti has compiled a record of 6-2 with an ERA under one, allowing just 22 hits in 39-2/3 innings while striking out 34.

Jenna Foreman

School: West Chicago softball

Class: Sophomore

Position: Pitcher/center fielder

Impact: In her first year on the varsity, this sophomore is contributing in a variety of ways for the Wildcats. Seeing time as a center fielder and pitcher, her biggest impact has come as the leadoff hitter in the batting order. Foreman already has stolen 20 bases without getting thrown out once.

Eric Giltz

School: Wheaton Warrenville South baseball

Class: Sophomore

Position: Outfielder

Impact: Batting in the leadoff spot for the Tigers, this sophomore has proved to be a tough out for the opposition. Leading Wheaton Warrenville South with his .391 batting average, Giltz also has produced four homers, including two to begin a game, 24 runs scored and 13 RBIs.

Maggie Graham

School: Wheaton Warrenville South softball

Class: Junior

Position: Outfielder

Impact: Batting near the top or in the middle of the Tigers’ line-up, this junior has been a solid contributor this spring. With an on-base percentage near .340, Graham has driven in eight runs this spring while scoring nine.

Jen Harkabus

School: Wheaton Warrenville South softball

Class: Junior

Position: Shortstop

Impact: A starter for the Tigers a year ago, Harkabus has taken her game to a new level this spring. Batting in the third-spot in the order, the shortstop is hitting .389 with six double, two triples, 14 runs scored and 16 RBIs.

Kat Meyer

School: Wheaton North softball

Class: Junior

Position: Infielder

Impact: On a very young and inexperienced team, this junior has been a steadying force for the Falcons. Leading Wheaton North with a .400 batting average, Meyer also has totaled four doubles, two home runs and 14 RBIs.

Michelle Ridderhoff

School: Wheaton Academy softball

Class: Junior

Position: Pitcher

Impact: Used just as a pitcher a year ago, this junior has been an important contributor at the plate this spring for the Warriors. Ridderhoff is hitting .361 on the season with five doubles, two triples, one home run and 13 RBIs. She also leads Wheaton Academy in innings pitched.

Michael Saccucci

School: Wheaton Warrenville South baseball

Class: Senior

Position: Shortstop

Impact: Seeing his role expand this spring, Saccucci has responded in fine fashion. The infielder is batting .333 on the season with nine doubles and also has tallied 14 runs scored and 12 RBIs.

AJ Seidler

School: West Chicago baseball

Class: Senior

Position: Catcher

Impact: After sharing catching duties a year ago, Seidler has taken over the full-time job and is flourishing. Hitting in the cleanup spot for the Wildcats, the senior is batting .382 with three doubles, two home runs and one triple to go along with 13 RBIs.

Jason Sullivan

School: St. Francis baseball

Class: Sophomore

Position: Shortstop/pitcher

Impact: Sullivan has quickly emerged as one of the top sophomores in the area. Offensively, Sullivan tops the team with 26 hits and is batting .388 so far on the spring. On the mound, he owns a 4-1 record with a 1.70 ERA, striking out 35 in 37 innings of work.

Fiona Summers

School: St. Francis softball

Class: Freshman

Position: Catcher

Impact: In her first year of high school softball, Summers has had an immediate impact defensively and at the plate. Replacing an all-conference catcher in Blaine Carragher, she has thrown out eight runners attempting to steal while calling all of the pitches. She also is hitting .400 on the spring.

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