Stacked lineup for Lady Cats in ‘23
After winning 23 games a year ago and advancing to the regional at Corydon, Alex McCool and his Franklin County Lady Wildcats return to the softball diamond Thursday afternoon to begin 2023 against Cambridge City Lincoln.
Six healthy bats will come back this spring to wreak havoc on area pitching. Combined with an infusion of young talent, the Cats may go as far as an unproven pitching staff takes them.
Strikeout machine Michaela Ferman has moved onto college ball, as has catcher Anne Becker. Another loss is outfield/pitching mainstay Bree Bischoff.
But the good news far outweighs the bad.
Sophomore Brooke Stang is a budding star after winning EIAC MVP as a freshman. Her OPS (on base plus slugging) reached 1.241 while she swiped 25 bags and scored 46 times. Third baseman Kensee Ferman was also all-conference; she hit .447 (1.229 OPS) as a soph with 13 extra-base hits and a cool 49 runs batted in.
The senior Schell sisters – Kassidy and Kiersten – offered up solid offensive numbers as well. Kassidy (2nd base) hit .360 with 20 RBI and seven XBH while her twin outfielder was at .352 with 18 RBI and seven doubles.
Future college player Maci Lake completes the middle infield. The senior shortstop owned a .438 average (1.086 OPS) with 13 XBH and was second on the team in run production with 32 RBI. She also stole 11 bases in 13 attempts. Senior Josie Rolfes will field balls at first base after hitting .322 with 11 XBH.
Sophomores Bailey Kaiser and Tiffany Billman played in the majority of games as freshmen, each hitting over .300. Others looking to make an impact are juniors Bella Lee and Kendal Cain, sophomore Annie Hoff and senior Emma Stadtmiller.
Of returning pitchers, only Lee has varsity experience. As a sophomore, she compiled a 3.50 earned run average in two appearances totaling just two innings while fanning three of 10 batters faced. She and Cain guided the junior varsity to a successful year from inside the circle.
FC looks to challenge Connersville and East Central, among others, for the 2023 conference title.