by Beau Wicker Sports editor
---- — Logansport’s softball team is looking to post an improved season from a year ago when the Berries finished with a record of 13-13.
“We’re healthy this year which is going to help,” Logan coach Jim Bacon said. “We’ll be better this year.”
Emily Prentice has fully recovered from a back injury that limited her a year ago and the junior will join Bailie Long in the pitcher’s circle this year. Long posted a 2.51 ERA as a freshman a year ago.
“Emily is healthy and with her and Bailie pitching we’ll be stronger there,” Bacon said. “I plan on using both in the same game. We’ll probably do that and see if that works, hopefully it does. They are two totally different pitchers. I think that will help us.”
The catchers will be Sydney Thompson and Bailey Kelley, an All-Loganland selection at shortstop last season who hit .325 with a team-high 27 RBIs.
Kennedy Curl and Kennadee Yeagley are the first basemen. Kristie Flora returns at second base. Mallory Rowe and Chelsey Haskett are the third basemen. Thompson, Prentice and freshman Abbi Zartman are the shortstops.
The outfield will consist of Jennifer Kreighbaum, Lauren Pruitt, Katrina Neuendorf and Zartman. Bailey Graham is out at least the first month of the season with a foot injury.
“We’ve got some younger girls who have a lot of speed who will help our outfield,” Bacon said. “We had our scrimmage at Pioneer and the girls worked really well together. They had a lot of communication and put the ball in play and moved the runners.”
Huntington North looks to be the favorite in the North Central Conference with Miss Softball candidate Erin Rethlake.
The sectional favorite appears to be Harrison, which has added Lafayette Jeff ace Kaitlynn Moody via a transfer.
The Berries lost to Jeff 12-11 in a sectional game last year. Harrison defeated Jeff 4-3 in the sectional final and then knocked off Hamilton Southeastern 4-3 in regional play before a 6-0 loss to Huntington in the regional final.
The Berries will get an early look at Harrison as they host the Raiders to open the season on Wednesday with a 6 p.m. first pitch.
The Kings went 16-13 last year and finished particularly strong, knocking off a highly ranked North Miami squad 7-1 in the sectional final. It was the second straight year the Kings upset the Warriors in sectional play. They then were defeated by Carroll 2-1 in a regional game.
But the Kings have lost nine seniors from a year ago including their top two pitchers. They’re not completely starting over as they do have some starters back.
Hailey Holt, Cheyenne Dittmaier and freshman Savannah Thompson are all options in the pitcher’s circle. Dittmaier was an All-Loganland shortstop a year ago when she hit .342 as a sophomore.
Kassi Zeck started a year ago and is moving to catcher this year. Miranda Cunningham is also an option there, as is Sidney Stuber.
Alexa Humerickhouse, who started as a freshman a year ago, returns at first base. Holt also plays first. Meghan Hall returns at second. Dittmaier, Ashton McClain and Thompson play shortstop. McClain and Holt are the third basemen.
Sydnye Combs, Logan Henry, Emily Galloway and Thompson all play outfield.
“We don’t have it figured out completely yet. We’re moving people around,” Scott said. “We lost nine seniors and there are gaps we’re trying to fill. We have multiple pitchers and we’re moving people around.”
The Kings have just 16 girls out for the team this year so they won’t have a JV.
The Kings don’t have to worry about North Miami this year as the Warriors have moved to Class A.
“We have a great group of girls who are working really hard and they’ve set goals to win sectional and win the MIC,” Scott said. “We have a very young team that is learning. We’re still trying to figure out what our best defense is. We’ve got potential, we just have to wait until the season plays at to see where we’re at.”
The Kings travel to Delphi on Wednesday to open the season.
The Warriors have five starters back from last year’s team that went 17-9 and knocked off undefeated Rochester to win the sectional title.
Bethany Brogdon returns in the circle where she posted a 3.89 ERA a year ago. She batted .450 with four home runs and 30 RBIs.
Chantel Heinsen, an All-MWC selection a year ago, returns at first base. Brooke Daugherty returns at shortstop and Maci Bischoff returns at catcher. Courtney Seymour will play third base and outfield.
“We have five starters back so that’s a nice nucleus to build around,” Winamac coach Jenni Belcher said. “We’re hoping to fill some holes from graduation that we’re working on now.”
Callie Rasmussen will play second and pitch this season. McKenzie Howard also pitches. Gabby Behny will play infield and outfield. Steph Crist, Briana Gallegos and Allison Craft also play outfield.
The Warriors are in a new sectional field with Delphi, Rensselaer, North Newton and North Judson this year.
Editor’s note: Previews for Caston and Pioneer will appear at a later date.