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The Voice

Softball 22-11

By Aaron Bengtson
In the past two seasons, Head Coach Mark Petryniec cannot recall seeing one of his outfielders throw out a runner at home. But against Batavia on March 19, the team’s first game of the season, one of his new freshmen, Ashley Laxner, did it to stop a run that would have tied the score. She didn’t hit her cut, no time for that. She didn’t need one anyway—she gunned the runner on her all-or-nothing throw from 160 feet out.

    Execution, error-less, big-play games are just a few key points the varsity softball team is focusing on in order to take control of the Fox Valley Conference and reach the program’s first-ever sectional appearance.

     “The seniors and other upperclassmen will have to really step it up and be leaders this year if we want the season to go well,” said senior pitcher Taylor Larson.

     The softball team is heading back to basics this year after posting a 22-11 record last year.

     “We plan on working hard and focusing on fundamentals: Our throwing, our hitting, and our swinging,” said Petryniec.

     Last year’s team came in second in the conference behind Cary-Grove. The team also lost 6-3 to Jacobs in the regional. With these losses in mind, the team is moving to correct the mistakes it made last year to win the conference championship.

     The team lost two seniors last year who are currently playing softball at Division I schools. Jenna Mychko is playing for the University of Illinois and Amanda Wisniewski is playing for Valparaiso in Indiana.

     “That’s part of high school,” said Petryniec. “Every year you lose some players.”

     Last year, Mychko and Wisniewski were the keys in the team’s power hitting. The girls this year are working hard to fill those shoes.

     The team is starting a different practicing regiment than was seen in the previous years. Last year, the team focused a lot of their time on speed and increasing their agility. While still keeping this in mind, the girls are focusing more on fundamentals, emphasizing “quality over quantity.”

     “We say quality over quantity,” said junior second baseman Tara Lycos. “Meaning better swings or more focus compared to repetition.”

     Along with a different training regiment, the team is introducing three freshmen on the varsity level: Brittany Koss, Ashley Laxner, and catcher Angela Tribuzio. With such a young team, it is left to the senior leaders to set the example of hard work and determination for the underclassmen.

     “The freshmen we recruited have a lot of potential and they all fit in perfectly with the team,” said senior Karlie Swanson. “I am confident that everyone can play on the field and make a great season.”

     The girls are confident that thinking quality over quantity, along with hard work and dedication, will bring them to their goals in the post season.

     “We have to really practice hard and get the work done if we want to do well,” said Larson.

Post Author: Joe Cristo. Joe loves music, movies and TV, go figure. He has an eclectic mix of musical tastes from Amy Winehouse to The Strokes. He loves Woody Allen movies and Seinfeld. Follows sports and has an amazing fantasy team. His favorite subjects include history and English.

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