Lady Leafs' softball team loaded with veteran talent
The Geneseo softball team has a lot of talent returning to the diamond including eight seniors on the 2017 roster.
Finding where all the pieces will fit together is what Lady Leafs’ Coach Pat Mitchell wants to find out as the season approaches.
“We tell people if you hit, we will find a place for you to play,” Mitchell said. “Now we have lots of hitters and their defense is going to matter, too.”
Geneseo begins the season with 15 players on the varsity roster and only one is an underclassman which means a lot of battles for playing time for the defending regional champions.
The Lady Leafs had become accustomed to coming into the season knowing Rachael Varland and Maddy Shoemaker would be covering the left side of the infield.
After losing Varland and Shoemaker to graduation, Geneseo will need infielders to step into those shoes.
A junior, Anna McAvoy’s athleticism has made an impression on Mitchell while trying to fill those spots.
Geneseo has a few experience infielders returning with Briley Koberlein earning time at second base
last season, and DelaneyOstrowski getting time at the corner infield positions as well.
The Lady Leafs’ Kaitlyn McKeag’s hitting ability has caught the coaches’ attention, and Sydney Himmelman’s height allows her to get to any ball at first base.
The Leafs’ Stella Corgan had a solid season at the sophomore level last year.
Hannah Tesmond and Lauren Denney will be among Geneseo’s senior leaders.
Geneseo’s pitching staff has three players vying for time in the circle.
After missing all of last season with a knee injury, Maddie Mackey returns looking back at full strength after getting to test out her knee in basketball season.
“We are looking for (Mackey) to jump right back on the mound,” Mitchell said. “She doesn’t have any fear. The injury has limited her range a little bit, but it has not limited her desire.”
Mitchell thinks the pitching staff will be similar to what Geneseo had last season when Andrea Wagoner and Jane Thomas combined to keep opponents’ bats quiet.
In the 9-2 regional championship victory over Pontiac, Wagoner and Jane Thomas combined to allow three hits with two walks and 11 strikeouts.
The Leafs’ Thomas was outstanding last season earning more than 10 wins in the circle.
Thomas suffered an injury during basketball season, but has been cleared to pitch and play.
A superstar with the bat in her hands, Ostrowski will look to establish herself in the circle after pitching in some JV and sophomore games as a freshman.
Caitlin Gilmore will handle the bulk of the Lady Leafs’ catching responsibility.
While new faces will be in the infield, Geneseo has five players who have experience in the outfield.
Jasmine McCormick was a NIB 12 All-Conference team member, and she earned Geneseo’s hustle award and Will to Win Award.
The Leafs’ Kayla Johnson, Allison Yager and Breanna Jones each showed signs they could be relied on in the outfield.
A junior, Yager has been in the varsity lineup the past two years.
Johnson hit a home run in Geneseo’s 11-3 victory over Sterling, and Jones drove in two runs against the Golden Warriors.
2017 Lady Leafs' roster
2 Stella Corgan Jr.
6 Hannah Tesmond Sr.
11 Lauren Denney Sr.
12 Jane Thomas Jr.
13 Caitlin Gilmore Jr.
14 Anna McAvoy Jr.
17 Kayla Johnson Sr.
18 Kaitlyn McKeag Jr.
21 Breanna Jones Sr.
22 Jasmine McCormick Sr.
23 Briley Koberlein Sr.
25 Maddie Mackey Sr.
26 Sydney Himmelman Sr.
27 Delaney Ostrowski So.
28 Allison Yager Jr.
Coach: Pat Mitchell.
Assistant coaches: Katelyn Cook, Jesse Dobbels, Jenna Harshbarger, Mike Kernan, Bob Pettit and Tom Rusk.
Lady Leafs’ softball schedule
March 14 Sherrard at Geneseo JF Edwards Complex 4:30 p.m.
Mach 15 Geneseo at Rockridge Rockridge High School 4:30 p.m.
March 16 Geneseo at Orion Orion HS (JV at 6 p.m.) 4:30 p.m.
Mach 21 Dunlap at Geneseo JF Edwards Complex 4:30 p.m.
Mach 24 Jefferson at Geneseo JF Edwards Complex 6 p.m.
Mach 25 Geneseo at Yorkville DH Yorkville High School 11 a.m.
Mach 28 Geneseo at Ottawa Ottawa High School 4:30 p.m.
Mach 29 Geneseo at Alleman Alleman Sports Complex 4:30 p.m.
Mach 30 Moline at Geneseo JF Edwards Complex 4:30 p.m.
April 3 Rock Island at Geneseo JF Edwards Complex 4:30 p.m.
April 4 Sterling at Geneseo JF Edwards Complex 4:30 p.m.
April 6 Geneseo at LaSalle-Peru Veteran’s Park 4:30 p.m.
April 10 Geneseo at Myrtle Beach Invite Myrtle Beach, Fla. TBA
April 11 Geneseo at Myrtle Beach Invite Myrtle Beach, Fla. TBA
April 12 Geneseo at Myrtle Beach Invite Myrtle Beach, Fla. TBA
April 17 Geneseo at Galesburg Galesburg High School 4:30 p.m.
April 18 DeKalb at Geneseo JF Edwards Complex 4:30 p.m.
April 20 Geneseo at Sterling Sterling High School 4:30 p.m.
April 21 Washington Invite Jan Smith Field, Washington TBA
April 22 Washington Invite Jan Smith Field, Washington TBA
April 24 Geneseo at United Township UTHS 4:30 p.m.
April 25 Ottawa at Geneseo JF Edwards Complex 4:30 p.m.
April 27 Geneseo at Rochelle Rochelle High School 4:30 p.m.
April 28 Morris at Geneseo JF Edwards Complex 4:30 p.m.
May 2 LaSalle-Peru at Geneseo JF Edwards Complex 4:30 p.m.
May 4 Geneseo at Kaneland Kaneland High School 4:30 p.m.
May 8 Alleman at Geneseo JF Edwards Complex 4:30 p.m.
May 9 Sycamore at Geneseo JF Edwards Complex 4:30 p.m.
May 11 Rochelle at Geneseo JF Edwards Complex 4:30 p.m.
May 12 Geneseo at Princeton Princeton High School 4:30 p.m.
May 16 Geneseo at Moline Moline High School 4:30 p.m.
May 20 Geneseo hosts Super Duals JF Edwards Complex 10 a.m.
May 22 Regional Quarterfinals JF Edwards Complex TBA
May 23 Regional Semifinals JF Edwards Complex TBA
May 24 Regional Semifinals JF Edwards Complex TBA
May 27 Regional Finals JF Edwards Complex TBA
May 30 Sectional Semifinals TBA TBA
May 31 Sectional Semifinals TBA TBA
June 3 Sectional Finals TBA TBA
June 5 Super-Sectionals TBA TBA
June 9 State Finals TBA TBA
June 10 Geneseo at State Finals TBA TBA