Orion softball back on the field

Mindy Carls
Orion softball takes the field

After losing their 2020 season to COVID-19, the Orion softball teams are ready to play.

Coach Sarah Frenell’s team was 17-10 in 2019. The Chargers finished second in the Three Rivers West with a 7-2 record. They reached the regional championship game in Mendota, only to fall 8-4 to the hosts.

Frenell started her eighth season with an 88-71 record.

Returning letter winners are seniors Jenna Drish, Marly Lillibridge and Nickie Kettler and juniors Ava Terry and Ella Sundberg.

New to the varsity are juniors Thea Brown, Kasey Filler and Liz Wilbur, sophomores Anika Duhs, Kinslee Whitcomb, Jayden Smith and Nadine Boos, and freshmen Hannah Swope, Grace Passno, Kenadi Sovey, Kamryn Filler and Allie Nickell.

To get all of the sports into the 2020-21 calendar, the IHSA created four seasons. Volleyball, assigned to spring, overlapped with softball, a summer sport.

That made it impossible for Frenell to have a practice with all of her girls present, but she saw enough to project starters.

With Swope on the mound and Sundberg behind the plate, the infielders would be Drish at first, Terry at second, Lillibridge at shortstop and Sovey at third.

Kettler, Filler, Passno and Brown would be outfielders.

“We are looking to continue to improve every day at practice and games,” Frenell said. “Our goal is to play better than we did the game before.”

Rockridge and Riverdale will be Orion’s strongest competitors in the Three Rivers West, she said. The Chargers should finish in the top four.