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Sports

Softball: Previewing Glenbard East, IC Catholic Prep, Lemont, Montini, Timothy Christian, Willowbrook and York

York's Lauren Derkowski pitches during the Dukes' supersectional win over St. Charles North at The Ballpark - Rosemont on June 4.
York's Lauren Derkowski pitches during the Dukes' supersectional win over St. Charles North at The Ballpark - Rosemont on June 4.

The girls softball season is underway, as teams begin their quest for the state tournament in East Peoria. Here is a preview of area teams.

GLENBARD EAST RAMS

Coach: Dawn Chantos

2018 record: 6-19

Top Players

Name, year, pos.

Joselyn Molinar sr. OF

Lexy Gonzalez jr. SS/P

Paige Andrews jr. OF

Alina Williams jr. OF

Katie Mulatz so. C

Brooke Hernandez so. 1B/OF

Giana Raitano fr. 3B/SS

Outlook: The Rams return six starters, with freshman Raitano the newcomer in the mix to watch.

"We are looking forward to a competitive season of softball," Chantos said. "Our girls are very hard-working and we look for them to grow as the season moves on."

IC CATHOLIC PREP KNIGHTS

Coach: Frank Reaber

2018 record: 26-6

Top Players

Name, year, pos.

Kayla Faber-Cournane sr. P/IF

Natalie Murillo sr. IF

Kayla Cervantes sr. CF

Alessandra Eccardt jr. 1B

Emma Lytton jr. C/IF

Daniela Murillo jr. IF

Rebecca Cash so. P/3B

Outlook: Graduating All-Area catcher Josie Lytton is a huge loss, but the Knights return every other starter from the team that went 9-3 in the Metro Suburban and reached a supersectional, losing to Beecher. Faber-Cournane, just committed to Viterbo University, posted an 11-2 record last year, Cash a 13-2 record. The Knights will be headed to Clearwater Beach during spring break.

LEMONT INDIANS

Coach: Christine Traina

2018 record: 25-10

Top Players

Name, year, pos.

Nina Mardjetko sr. P/1B

Kylie Mooney jr. SS

Maddy Wallace so. P

Haley Nash jr. IF/OF

Emma Kucharski so. IF/OF

Avarie Woday jr. U

Lily Schuit so. 3B

Outlook: The Indians graduated six senior starters off a team that won Lemont's first sectional title in 29 years, but have a strong core of upcoming talent and veteran pitching. Mardjetko is a fourth-year varsity pitcher who posted a 12-5 record and 3.01 ERA last year. Mooney, who memorably hit the walk-off homer in the sectional final, is a dangerous middle of the order bat who hit .533 with nine homers, 44 RBIs and 39 runs scored as a sophomore. Wallace pitched several varsity games and will be a big part of the rotation. Nash, Kucharski, Woday and Schuit are other newcomers to watch.

"We're looking to make a deep run in the playoffs," Traina said.

MONTINI LADY BRONCOS

Coach: Erin Bradarich

2018 record: 28-9

Top Players

Name, year, pos.

Lauren Latoria sr. SS

Emily Alexander sr. OF

Alyssa Filkowski sr. OF

Elyse Spaccapaniccia jr. 1B/OF

Cynthia Ng so. OF

Ava Vjestica so. 2B

Kora Navarro fr. P/3B

Outlook: Bradarich, in her sixth year with the Montini program, takes over for Mike Bukovsky as head coach of the defending Class 3A champs. Graduated Suburban Life Player of the Year Nikki Cuchran leaves a huge void, but the cupboard is far from bare. Filkowski, an Elmhurst College commit, hit .523 with homers and 52 RBIs in games through supersectionals, Embry Riddle recruit Latoria .386 with 41 RBIs and Tennessee-Martin recruit Alexander .392 with 55 runs scored. Spaccapaniccia, Ng and Vjestica also hit over .300.

TIMOTHY CHRISTIAN TROJANS

Coach: Lindsay Slovey

2018 record: 0-21

Top Players

Name, year, pos.

Lauren Gehrke sr. P

Allison Heersink sr. SS

Kelly Tameling jr. 3B

Emily Slovey fr. P/1B

Outlook: The last few years have been rebuilding ones, but coach Slovey said this year looks promising with multiple girls being able to pitch and play multiple positions. Emily Slovey will help offensively.

"We look good offensively," coach Slovey said. "Looking forward to a great year."

WILLOWBROOK WARRIORS

Coach: Rachel Karos

2018 record: 18-12

Top Players

Name, year, pos.

Amy Bussa sr. 1B/3B/OF

Shannon Knudtson jr. SS/OF

Annemarie Knudtson so. 2B

Caroline Dooley so. P/OF

Emma Barrington sr. C

Sam Mishlove sr. CF

Katie Pettinger sr. OF

Sabrina Edwards sr.

Loren Perry jr.

Mikayla Tomaszewski jr.

Caitlyn Kylczyski fr. P/3B/SS

Kayla Neff fr. 1B/3B/P

Outlook: With seven returning starters bolstered by some young talent, the Warriors should build on an 18-win season. Dooley, an all-conference pitcher, struck out 156 and hit .402 and 27 RBIs at the plate. Annemarie Knudtson, also all-conference, hit .455 with 25 RBIs and 35 runs, all-conference outfielder Mishlove hit .309 with 33 runs scored and a fourth all-conference pick, Buss, hit .365 with 21 runs scored. The biggest change is depth in almost every position. Karos expects Willowbrook's pitching to continue to impress, and is hopeful hitting has improved.

"We're hoping to be a conference contender this year," Karos said.

YORK DUKES

Coach: Elizabeth Munn

2018 record: 27-14

Top Players

Name, year, pos.

Katherine Karnatz sr. SS

Izzy Smith sr. 3B

Lauren Derkowski so. P

Julia Derkowski sr. 1B/OF/P

Madline Modica so. C/2B

Gina Westphal jr. 1B/2B/OF

Sophia Trajevski sr. OF

Caroline Collins sr. 1B/P

Lauren Polte sr. 3B/1B

Outlook: The Dukes last year won the West Suburban Silver, and took fourth in Class 4A in their second-ever state appearance. The pieces are there for another deep run. Michigan recruit Lauren Derkowski went 19-5 with a 1.69 ERA and 238 strikeouts through supersectionals as a freshman, with a near no-hitter in the supersectional win. Speedy shortstop Karnatz, a Missouri-Kansas City commit, scored 37 runs with 26 RBIs. Smith, an NIU recruit, has thunder in her bat with nine homers and 34 RBIs last year. The Dukes head to Florida for spring break softball.

"Our goal is to go back down state," Munn said, "and compete with the best in the state."

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