Long time leader of Tuscola Softball will break new ground this spring taking at least a two-week hiatus from the season prior to competition starting. The IHSA has postponed the start of the season until at least April at which time Sementi will look to a small senior class comprised of Carissa Denny, Abbey Jacob, and Sophie James to lead the Lady Warriors into their 2020 campaign.
It will be Sementi’s twentieth year at the helm and he will welcome in a young roster that includes a large and talented group of seven freshman, a pair of sophomores that started the majority of last season and a junior class that boasts seven players, four of which that played big roles on the diamond a year ago.
Jacob is very aggressive on the base paths and showed homerun power a year ago. She was the Warriors second leadoff on offense and has resided in left field on defense for the last two seasons. Denny was utilized as a pinch hitter most of the season in ’19’. The fourth year player swings a big bat and will provide some power in the middle of the lineup while possibly being used as a utility player a few spots in the field. James served as a courtesy runner a year ago stealing more than a few bases en-route to scoring over twenty runs. She will look to fill a spot left open in the outfield and move into the middle of the lineup.
Speaking of the grass area behind the base paths nobody covers it better than two-year starter Kendyl Ring. The junior collected All CIC honors for the second consecutive year while hitting out of the two hole on offense. She ended the year with a .418 batting average pounding out thirty-eight hits and 28-RBI’s while swiping over 20-bases.
Classmate Kaitlyn Reifsteck returns to the hill for the third year as a varsity starter. Her 18-3 record, miniscule .906 ERA and 205-strikeouts while walking just 13 in her 25 apperances deservedly earned her first team All CIC accolades. She now resides on numerous program top ten lists in the pitching department. Last season Reifsteck hit out of the five hole most of the year hitting a pair of homers while pushing in 16-RBI’s.
Another in the junior class that collected some post-season hardware was Jessie Martin. She will return to the hot corner at third base after committing just four errors in 50 attempts a year ago. In her first year full time on the varsity diamond the second-year player earned a spot on the CIC’s first team, and was also a third team All State selection that hit in front of the cleanup delivering just under 35-RBI’s.
Classmate Kendal Morgan spent most of the year at first base committing just one error on 65 attempts posting a fielding percentage of .985. Yet another from the class of 2021 donating the cause will be Marissa Russo. Russo has one of the strongest arms on the team and will be behind the dish for most games. Kenzi Heckler and Charlize Wilson two others from the class will push for playing time as the season progresses.
Two second years made a big splash at the varsity level in ‘19’ during their freshman tour. Taylor Musgrave and Keri Pierce both earned varsity letters last season and will be called upon to be a big part of this year’s squad. Musgrave was an honorable mention CIC team member spending most of her varsity time in the outfield but will most likely fill a middle infield position this season. She hit .418 squaring up a pair of triples and round trippers. Pierce tallied fifteen runs, banged out double digit hits and also patrolled the outfield grass at times. She was 17-0 on the mound for a JV team that ended the year 17-1 overall earning her the teams Most Improved Player award and has looked very good in preseason on the mound.
A trio of freshman Ella Boyer, Marley Good and Isabelle Wilcox have shown a lot of promise in early practices. Boyer has flashed the leather with the middle infielders and covers a lot of area. She also displayed a strong bat and speed on the bases and will vie for a spot near the top of the order. Good has a powerful bat and will be able to help fill the void at catcher. Wilcox is extremely athletic and has some real pop in her bat. She will be part of the pitching staff and make it tough on opposing pitchers.