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High school softball: IC Catholic, Montini, Timothy Christian, York ready to go this season

Montini, York among area teams looking for big things this season

The ultimate destination for high school softball teams is Peoria for the state championships in June, but there is a lot to be decided before teams start booking charter buses and hotel rooms. Here is the outlook this season for IC Catholic, Montini, Timothy Christian, York and other area teams.

Glenbard East Rams

Coach: Dawn Chanos

2016 record: 10-21

Top players


Alivia Chuman jr. 3B

Sam Dooley jr. CF

Kate Tadda sr. 1B

Tori Tyler jr. P

Outlook: A young team with Tadda as the only senior is looking to surpass last year’s performance. Though young, the Rams don’t lack talent. That includes Tyler, returning to toe the rubber, and sophomore Ariana King behind the plate. Freshman Alexia Gonzalez could make an impact defensively in the infield and could see time pitching. Dooley and sophomore Joselyn Molinar will be key pieces in the outfield.

IC Catholic Knights

Coach: Frank Reaber

2016 record: 16-18

Top players


Kaitlyn Falduto sr. SS

Josie Lytton jr. C

Outlook: Aside from Falduto and Lytton, there isn’t a ton of game experience, but there are several varsity returners plus some talented younger players on the roster who should keep the Knights competitive.

Alyssa Borges and Molly Fahey return and join Falduto as the only seniors on the team. Junior Georgia Mahnke (first base) returns, as do sophomores Kayla Cervantes, Kayla Faber-Cournane (pitcher) and Natalie Murillo (second base).

Freshmen Brooklyn Campos, Tea Carpanzano, Allesandra Eccardt, Emma Lytton and Daniela Murillo already have seen playing time this year.

Montini Broncos

Coach: Mike Bukovsky

2016 record: 37-3

Top players


Emily Alexander so. OF

Naomi Alonzo sr. 1B/P

Bri Clifton jr. P

Nikki Cuchran jr. 3B

Lauren Latoria so. IF

Outlook: A team that lost six seniors who contributed heavily still has enough talent to repeat as Class 3A champs this year.

Cuchran hit close to .600, smashed 15 home runs and knocked in 50 runs and was named Gatorade Player of the Year in Illinois. She will anchor the lineup and along with Alonzo, Clifton and Latoria will form a formidable offense.

Clifton and Alonzo were the top two pitchers last season. Clifton won both games at state to finish 22-1. Alonzo was 14-2. Both had sub-2.00 ERAs.

Seniors Serena Almodovar (shortstop) and Tia Sondej (outfield), junior Sam Ferruzza (catcher), and sophomore Alyssa Filkowski (outfield) will take on larger varsity roles.

Timothy Christian Trojans

Coach: Lindsay Slovey

2016 record: 3-21

Top players


Lauren Gehrke so. 2B/OF

Emily Gifford sr. P/1B

Allison Heersink so. 3B/P

Liv Schuringa jr. 1B/OF

Hope Zastrow sr. C

Outlook: Timothy welcomes a new coach after a rough 2016 season, and already this year the Trojans have shown some potential. They scored 34 runs in two games, but one of those games was a 25-12 loss against Chicago Christian. 

Gifford, headed to play in college at Trinity International, could see time in the circle and will certainly be a key part of the lineup. Zastrow and senior newcomer Samantha Leide also will play big roles in the offense.

Three freshmen – Elizabeth Arcos, Bianca Jimenez and Kelly Tameling – are on the varsity and should see significant time on a team with just 11 players.

Willowbrook Warriors

Coach: Rachel Karos

2016 record: 14-16

Top players


Jiana Funteas jr. SS

Emily King sr. OF/IF

Katie Smith jr C

Veronica Swan sr. P

Megan Talan sr. 2B

Outlook: It has been a rough start so far as the Warriors have yielded double digits in all four games, but the mix of experience and young talent should keep them competitive the rest of the season.

Funteas and Talan will be the linchpins of the defense up the middle in the infield, and they will need to be sharp as Swan and junior Madison Campbell adjust to being full-time pitchers.

Amy Bussa, Anna Carson, Samantha Mishlove and Katherine Pettinger are varsity sophomores who will see time and have chances to contribute. King, Swan, Talan and Allison Letson are the only seniors.

York Dukes

Coach: Elizabeth Munn

2016 record: 16-11

Top players


Madison Collins jr. C

Julia Derkowski so. P

Katherine Karnatz so. SS/2B

Kyra Kroll jr. OF

Andrea Meagher jr. 1B/P

Izzy Smith so. 3B/P

Mia Tran jr. 2B/OF

Lauren Wojcik jr. P

Outlook: New coach Munn inherits a team that saw the heart of the batting order graduate, but the Dukes certainly have enough returning talent to make a run at another Class 4A regional title.

Derkowski, Meagher and Wojcik all have toed the rubber to help York get off to a 5-0 start to the season.

Defensively, Karnatz and Tran are slated for full-time work in the middle of the infield, and Kroll likely will move from left field to center. 

Karnatz was at or near the top of the batting order last year. Collins, Kroll, Meagher, Smith, Tran and Wojcik figure to slide up the order. Juniors Maria Gentile and Jane Moran, sophomore Jojo Moyer and freshman Sydney Fuglsang add depth to the roster for a team that hopes to finish near the top of the tough West Suburban Silver conference.

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