Although the Lyons Township High School softball team finished 13-17 last season, the Lions are excited about this year with the return of 11 seniors.
“We really do have a lot of talent,” LTHS coach Dawn Schabacker said. “And when you have a lot of talent, it really depends on how well we blend those talents together to support our team.
“I’ve coached a lot of years and I’ve seen talent come and go, but I can honestly say that this is the most talented group we’ve had here in a very long time.”
Among the key returners for the Lions is senior shortstop and leadoff hitter Delanie Cruz, who hit .373 last season with 20 RBI. She also led the team with eight home runs. Senior catcher/outfielder Marina Gonzalez also returns for the Lions. She hit .372 with a team-best 21 RBI last season. Senior catcher/infielder Riley Frisbie hit .306 last season with five home runs, and looks to continue her success this year.
“Cruz is a really good defensive player and a really aggressive offensive player,” Schabacker said. “We’re looking for good things to come from her. Gonzalez came out as a junior and really helped us out. Frisbieis a really great leader.”
On the mound, senior Maggie Vacchiano and junior Sapphire Munoz both enter their third year on the varsity.
“Vacchiano has definitely developed her style of pitching this past year,” Schabacker said. “We’re looking for really good things from her this season. We’re blessed to have five pitchers this year.”
Along with Vacchiano and Munoz, senior Tenley Bozzi will also be on the mound this season for the Lions, as well as senior Taylor Guagenti. Junior pitcher Peyton Hammon rounds out the rotation.
Senior infielders Taylor Kohn, Nicole Ranieri, Kim Tegtmeier and Isabella Nardi, along with senior outfielder Sam Lattner should contribute as well this spring.
The LTHS junior varsity finished 21-3 last season. Junior catcher/third baseman Lauren Engels and junior infielders Alex Rich and Morgan Petrosius come up from that squad this season for more depth.
“We have a lot of talented juniors coming in this year to mix in with our seniors,” Schabacker said. “Engels, Rich, Petrosius, and Hammon are all very talented juniors coming up from the JV. I think they are really going to step in and do great things