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Lisle softball skews young but expects to compete

LISLE – Considering Lisle’s softball team has been confined to the gym for practice as winter weather continues to linger, things aren’t actually all that bad for the Lions.

“Unfortunately, this is nothing new for us,” head coach Jen Pomatto said of practicing indoors. “I’ve been very happy with them because they’re not letting it affect them. They’ve been practicing really hard and not complaining.”

Since her team has been kept indoors, Pomatto has been trying to keep practices fresh by mixing things up. She allowed seniors and freshmen to plan and run a practice last week.

Once the Lions finally do take the field, they will be a squad that doesn’t have a ton of game experience but that does have unrivaled versatility.

Bella Daly, Lauren Holub, Shelby Jensen and Summer Stitt are the only returning players who were mainstays in the lineup last season, though Melissa Ericson was a late-season varsity call-up last spring and Erica Krause joined the team for the playoffs.

Stitt, Jensen and Ericson all can pitch and play other positions, just a hint of the Lions’ versatility.

“There’s a lot of flexibility,” Pomatto said. “We have a lot of girls that can play a lot of different positions. We’ll be able to switch things up depending on who’s pitching and who’s playing well.”

The squad has just four seniors on the roster. Two juniors, four sophomores and a pair of freshmen make it a 12-player team. Though half the team is underclassmen, Pomatto said that doesn’t mean the Lions won’t be competitive.

“We’re a young team, but our young players played a lot over the summer,” Pomatto said. “We’re young age-wise, but experience-wise we’re not. If you came and saw one of our practices, you wouldn’t know a freeman versus a senior.”

In lieu of naming captains, Pomatto prefers to let leadership roles on the team develop naturally. Stitt, a four-year varsity player, Daly and Holub certainly have the experience that would help them in leadership roles.

As usual, the Interstate Eight Conference will provide stiff competition, with Coal City, Plano, Sandwich and Westmont likely to join Lisle in the race for the title.

“I’m excited to see these girls play together,” Pomatto said. “This team really hasn’t had the chance to play together as a group, so I’m looking forward to seeing us on the field playing together.”

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