Springfield softball team repeats as league champs
SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield softball team finished the 2012 season with an overall record of 20-7, including a perfect 14-0 mark in the Portage Trail Conference (PTC).
“We had a very good season,” said head coach Roger Errington. “We repeated as league champs this year and made it to the finals in districts. It was just a great season. The kids worked very hard.”
According to the coach, this year’s team featured a nice blend of experience.
“We had a good mix with four seniors, five juniors, three sophomores and two freshmen,” he said.
The seniors on this year’s team were Gabby Lessak, Paige Kitchen, Katie Kraus and McKenzie Hedrick.
“Gabby was a four-year varsity player. As a pitcher, she made first-team Portage Trail Conference Metro in 2009, 2010 and 2012. In 2011, she made the second team,” Errington said. “Paige did some catching and played third base, and Katie and McKenzie played in the outfield. They were good leaders and fine teammates. They will be missed quite a bit.”
The team captains this season were Lessak and junior Quartni Whited.
“They played a big role for the team,” Errington said. “Both were great leaders.”
The coach said Whited was voted the most valuable player in the PTC Metro League this season.
“She led the league in home runs with nine and also was a great pitcher for us,” he stated.
A major positive for the squad, Errington said, is the four starting infielders are slated to return next season.
“Junior Lydia Sanner, our third baseman, had a great season. She led the team with a .474 batting average and had 16 doubles,” he said. “Junior Marisa Lucco, our second baseman; junior Sarah Stubbs, our first baseman; and freshman Laura Stubbs, our shortstop, round out our infield. All had good seasons. We made a few changes in the early part of the season, but we’ve had a little over half a season with this group, and I think bringing them all back next year should help a lot.”
In addition, the coach said, a number of other players who played key roles for the 2012 Springfield softball team are expected back next season.
“Our outfield was sophomore Alexis Slider, sophomore Genny Pratt and freshman Deanna Cole, who led the team with 32 runs scored and 27 stolen bases,” Errington said. “Junior Brittany Alenka did a lot of designated playing for us. And our catcher was a sophomore, Kassy Flores, who is a great ballplayer.”
Errington said pitching was a major strength for the team this season.
“Our pitching was great. It was the best in the league,” he said. “Quart was 11-4 and Gabby was 9-3.”
And the team’s hitting, Errington said, was “very solid” this season.
“We get a lot of extra-base hits,” he said. “We have a pretty powerful hitting team.”
The coach said he feels “very confident” about where the Springfield softball program stands heading into the offseason.
“Our goal in the offseason is to work hard in the summer and winter and to come back and win the league again and see how far we can go,” he said. “We feel very good about next season.”
This was Errington’s fifth season as the team’s coach. His assistant coaches are Paris Riddle and Dan Cole, and the junior varsity head coach is Alexa McCeaster.
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