The New Trier softball team has six starters returning from a 2013 team that went 26-2 in the regular season, including a perfect 10-0 in CSL South play, and made it to the Class 4A sectional finals.
New Trier has five returning all-conference players, including pitcher Allison Quigley, who won 21 straight decisions last season, and Abbey Boyd, who was recently named to the Academic All-State team.
“We feel pretty confident about this season,” coach John Cadwell said. “We’ve got a really tough schedule, but the girls work very hard together, they’ve got great work ethic and an excellent rapport together. I’m pleased with the seniors, and we’ve also got some great young players, too.”
After winning the 2013 CSL North title with a perfect 10-0 record, the Spartans again are looking to finish atop the standings in 2014.
“We’re expecting to play well again this season,” coach Jenn Mau said. “Winning conference is always a goal for us.”
Glenbrook North is bringing back nine players from that championship team, including All-CSL North selections Courtney Chron, Kate Kamin, Emily Westil and four-year starting pitcher Ashley Gruenberg.
The Titans surprised people in the 2013 playoffs by upsetting Deerfield and Mundelein en route to a Class 4A regional championship game appearance. After losing just three players to graduation, Glenbrook South returns 11 seniors with significant varsity experience.
“The girls spent many hours in the offseason playing travel ball,” coach Kay Sopocy said. “We’re feeling really good about where we’re at.”
One of those veteran players is senior pitcher Katie Rossman, one of two Titans to be named to the 2013 All-CSL South team. With another year of experience, she projects to have an even better 2014 season.
“[Katie] has more control and improved location,” Sopocy said. “Her confidence has gotten better and she’ll set the tone for us.”
While other area teams are waiting for the weather to improve to finally play outdoors, Glenbrook South will spend four days during spring break training in Florida. It is scheduled to play five games during that span.
“We just can’t wait to get away from this weather,” Sopocy said.
Luella Gesky takes over as coach this season for an Evanston team that went 15-16 in 2013 and advanced to the Class 4A regional finals.
“We’ve got a whole new coaching staff and new system,” Gesky said. “I feel like the girls are really excited for the possibilities this year.”
She said that offensively the Wildkits will play small ball to set up the team’s big hitters, particularly sophomore Gina Hopf. Defensively, the goal is to be fundamentally sound and to support Evanston’s two freshman pitchers, Zoe Kurtzer and Jaden Janzen.
New coach Vince Smart joins a Regina softball program that has won three consecutive GCAC White Division championships. Smart was previously with the Illinois BASH softball program. Smart takes over a relatively young Panthers team that features just seven upperclassmen, including seniors Sarah Baker, Anna Booczko and Niki Richards.
New Loyola coach Michelle Farrell-Fink inherits a team that made it to the regional finals in 2013. The Ramblers suffered a season-ending 8-4 loss to Barrington, the eventual third-place finisher in Class 4A.