softball team will look to build on a stellar group of returning starters
and make a State Tournament run as the 2017 season gets underway tonight at
“We will be moving
some people around some this year,” Chesterton coach LouAnn Hopson said as
her 34th season begins. “We think we have a lot of depth and a lot of skill.
Now, we need to find a mix that works.”
A trio of juniors
led by Notre Dame commit Shelby Grimm should give the Trojans a solid
offensive attack. Grimm, an All-DAC and All-State selection last year, hit
.449 with 11 doubles and will move from shortstop to catcher.
Kristi Stevenson hit .395 with 19 RBI’s and 12 doubles, while center fielder
Kari LaFreniere is back to patrol the outfield.
Senior Biz Zehner
hit .419 last year and will return to the outfield along with classmate
Maddy Hamady. Hailey Johansen will move from the outfield to second base and
Hayley McBride (.306, 21 RBI’s) should see time in the infield and outfield.
In the circle,
junior Lauren Anderson returns after an 11-2 campaign that included a 1.75
ERA. Classmate Kelly Carr also returns with pitching experience and could
log time in the infield.
“I think the
returning girls all feel like we left some unfinished business last spring,”
finished 17-8 last year (10-4 in DAC) and fell in the Sectional Finals.
“Right now we are
at 17 girls and we’ll probably move some of them up and down,” Hopson said.
“I want them all playing, so everyone is ready to contribute at tournament
time. The hardest part is getting them to understand it.
“There is a lot to
be said about practicing varsity, but game at bats and situations are
New faces for
Chesterton will include junior pitcher Hayley Edmonds and the sophomore trio
of Noelle Michael, Marney Sisson and Lexi Benko. Freshmen Cassidy Grimm,
Faith Matta, Maddie Snemis ad Micaela Iacovetti round out the roster.
“Our new people
have a lot of speed and we are going to try and use it in the outfield,”
The Trojans open
the season with games on each of the first six days, including the DAC
opener at Lake Central on Wednesday.
“Once again, we
start our second game of the season with LC,” Hopson said. “Crown Point and
Portage are the next week. By the end of that second week, we will have over
a third of our season played.
“We should know by
then where we are and what we can do.”