Tuesday, March 26, 2013

PREP SOFTBALL PREVIEW

from today's Waukesha Freeman -

Catholic Memorial Crusaders want to improve
Graduation has hurt CMH
Freeman Staff


WAUKESHA – Brian Johnson has overseen a lot of improvement.

And the third-year Catholic Memorial High School softball coach is hoping that trend will continue. CMH was 1-19 the year before Johnson took over, and the Crusaders went 6-14 in his first season. CMH was 13-10 in 2012.


But the Crusaders graduated some talented players.


“Our offensive numbers have improved in each of the last two years, and we expect that trend to continue,” Johnson said. “With such a young team, we do believe we will struggle defensively.”


CMH averaged 7.1 runs per game last season after averaging 5.7 the year before. The Crusaders scored 2.25 runs per game in 2010.


Defense also has improved at CMH, as the Crusaders allowed 6.5 runs per game in 2012, 9.2 in 2011 and 10.2 in 2010.


CMH won two WIAA Division 2 playoff games last season, beating Racine St. Catherine’s and perennially strong New Berlin Eisenhower.


The Crusaders lost four year shortstop Lauren Krolikowski to graduation. She hit .457 and drove in 28 percent of the team’s runs. CMH also graduated honorable mention all-Classic 8 Conference first baseman Rebecca Stekiel and second baseman Morgan Schneider.


Memorial returns only five players from last year.
“This is a rebuilding season for us, as we will start two sophomores and three freshmen,” said Johnson, who will start the season with only nine players as a 10th player is rehabbing from a knee injury.

Senior center fielder Tia Johnson was a second team all-conference pick
last season, while senior pitcher Rachel Ramthun and junior first baseman/third baseman Mari Klement received honorable mention.

Senior left fielder Nikki Lee and sophomore catcher Mary Kate Sauer also return.


Ramthun is beginning her fourth varsity season, and Johnson noted, “We are solid with our other two seniors, Nikki Lee and Tia Johnson, roaming left and center field, respectively,”
Brian Johnson said. “Mari Klement, our lone junior, will anchor our otherwise untested infield.”

The coach pointed to sophomore infielder Quinn Schneider, freshman utility Hannah Smith, freshman infielder Maria Fernandez and freshman outfielder Brenna Lewandowski as newcomers who should contribute
this season.

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Photo credits: Robert F. Borkowski/Special to The Freeman  -- (top right) Catholic Memorial senior Tia Johnson was a second-team all-Classic 8 Conference center fielder last season.   (upper left) Catholic Memorial junior infielder Mari Klement received honorable mention all-Classic 8 Conference honors last season.
 

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