Spring is up to bat

Mid Valley freshman Madison Donlin at batting practice.

Spring is nearly here, meaning high school softball is in the air. There is no shortage of talent among these four valley teams:

Carbondale Area

Nickname: Chargers

2019 Record: (1-13, 0-11)

League: Lackawanna Division 3

Class: 3A

Coach: Mary Jo Naniewicz

Players to watch: Michaela McLoughlin (senior, C) and Brooke Staple (senior, C).

Returning players: seniors McKinely Borders (OF), Payton Carey (OF), Zoe Connolly (IF), Madison Cost (1B), Emma Jones (SS), Michaela McLoughlin (C), Madison Mushensky (OF) and Brooke Staple (C); junior Kacydi Brewin (IF); sophomore Elle Higdon (C).

In 2019, seniors Michaela McLoughlin (.361, 2 DBLs, 6 RBIs) and Brooke Staple (.378, 4 DBLs, 10RBIs) combined for 27 hits and 8 runs.

Carbondale Area will play its season-opener against Riverside on Monday, March 30 (Lackawanna Interscholastic Athletic Association).

Forest City

Nickname: Lady Foresters

2019 Record: (3-5, 2-1)

League: Lackawanna Division 4

Class: A

Coach: Joseph Miraglia Sr.

Players to watch: Madeline Bailer (senior, C), Bella Pleska (junior, SS), Madeline Shema (junior, CF) and Emily Gorton (junior, P).

Returning starters: Senior Madeline Bailer (C). Juniors: Bella Pleska (SS) and Madeline Shema, (CF). Sophomore Emily Gorton (P).

All four of the Lady Foresters’ returning starters played well in 2019. The team’s lone senior Madeline Bailer hit .426 with 4 doubles, 1 triple and 11 RBIs. Juniors Bella Pleska and Madeline Shema combined for 18 RBIs and 8 doubles, while sophomore Emily Gorton finished with 15 hits and 6 RBIs of her own.

Returning players: Juniors Stephanie Graham (RF), Madison McCracken (3B) and Hope Reams (1B); sophomores Audrey Bailer (2B), Skylar Ferrell (2B/P), Loralie Mead (LF/1B) and Hannah Slivkanich (C/UT).

Newcomers: freshmen Kimberly Graham (OF), Haylee Herrmann (C, OF) and Vanessa Hodges (IF).

“We have only one senior,” said Forest City coach Joseph Miraglia Sr. “We are young, but we’ll be competitive.”

Forest City will play its season-opener at home against Montrose on Monday, March 30 (Lackawanna Interscholastic Athletic Association).

Lakeland

Nickname: Lady Chiefs

2019 Record: (7-10, 6-6)

League: Lackawanna Division 3

Class: 3A

Coach: Brian Wagner

Players to watch: Aniesa Dragwa (senior, SS) and Abbey Stalter (senior, CF).

Returning starters: Seniors Abbey Stalter (CF), Aniesa Dragwa (SS), Julie Tancredi (C) and Jordan Essig (3B); juniors Marissa Boles (2B) and Emily Pollack (LF).

Returning players: juniors Selena Hoover (RF/P) and Colby White (OF/3B).

Newcomers: Sophomores Madison Kilmer (1B), Angelica Nowak (1B/SS) and Megan Williams (2B/OF); freshman Joan Clauss-Walton (P/SS).

Lakeland coach Brian Wagner returns six starters from last season, including seniors Aniesa Dragwa (.356, 4 doubles, 5 RBIs) and Abbey Stalter (.344, 2 triples, 4 RBIs). The players combined for 38 hits and 28 runs in 2019.

“If we are a balanced team and our defense and pitching are strong, we will be very competitive,” Wagner said.

Lakeland will play its season-opener at home against Mid Valley on Monday, March 30 (Lackawanna Interscholastic Athletic Association).

Mid Valley

Nickname: Spartans

2019 Record: (17-5, 10-2) 2019 District 2 Class 3A champions

League: Lackawanna 3 Division

Class: 3A

Coach: Michael Piercy

Players to watch: Lacy Harrington (senior, 1B), Lindsey Jason (junior, IF) and Maranda Runco (freshman, P).

Returning starters: Seniors Lacy Harrington (1B) and Katlyn Kobylanski (CF); juniors Lindsey Jason (IF) and Zoe Zelinski (IF/OF); sophomores Emma Kobylanski (IF/P) and Kaylee Terrenella (C).

Returning players: Senior Kyleigh Petcavage (OF) and junior Emily Hedglin (OF).

Newcomers: Sophomore Gianna Magliocchi (OF); freshmen Katrina Davis (IF), Madison Donlin (UT), Maranda Runco (P) and Courtney Rebar (IN/OF).

The reigning District 2 Class 3A champion returns with two of its best players from 2019, senior Lacy Harrington and junior Lindsey Jason. In 2019, Harrington (.600) finished with 4 homeruns, 3 triples and 40 RBIs. Jason (.568) finsihed with 3 homeruns, 2 triples and 39 RBIs. Together, the players combined for 81 hits and 69 runs.

“We will be relying on underclassmen to fill several key roles. Nonetheless, we believe that we have the ability to compete at the state level,” said Piercy.

Mid Valley will play its season-opener against Lakeland on Monday, March 30 (Lackawanna Interscholastic Athletic Association).

Valley View

Nickname: Cougars

2019 Record: (4-10, 1-5)

League: Lackawanna Division 1

Class: 4A

Coach: E.J. Weston

Players to watch: Mackenzie Longworth (Jr., 1B) and Madison McVicar (Sr., LF).

Returning starters: Senior Madison McVicar (LF); juniors: Emma Giovagnoli (2B), Mackenzie Longworth (1B), Eva Marino (C) and Alyssa Marion (P); sophomore Kalyssa Shedd (DP).

Returning players: Senior Adrianna Swoyer (2B/OF); junior Abbey Bukhar (OF); sophomores: Ava Giovagnoli (OF) and Anna Sebastianelli (OF/P).

Newcomers: Freshmen Natalie Borosky (3B), Ryien Carroll (OF), Riley Cunningham (OF) and Morgan McVicar (SS).

“We are working hard to be a competitive softball team,” said Valley View coach E.J. Weston.

Six starters will return from last season’s team, including Valley View’s two best hitters, senior Madison McVicar (LF) and junior Mackenzie Longworth (1B). MicVicar (.373, 3 HR) and Longworth (.362, 5 DBL) combined for 31 hits and 20 of the team’s 41 RBI’S in 2019.

Valley View will play its season-opener at home against Western Wayne on Monday, March 30 (Lackawanna Interscholastic Athletic Association).

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