Oakville High softball team looking to continue its dominance in 2014

Tigers softball team all set to swing for success in ’14

The Tigers have a substantial number of returning senior starters, pictured above, to fuel their quest for a championship.

The Tigers have a substantial number of returning senior starters, pictured above, to fuel their quest for a championship.

By Robert Chalupny

The Oakville Senior High School varsity softball team has consistently been a dominant force in the Suburban West Conference, and there is every reason to believe the Tigers will continue their reign in 2014.

Although they did lose power players Adrianna Wegmann and Megan Allen to graduation in the spring, the Tigers have a substantial number of returning starters to fuel their quest for another state championship.

Tigers head coach Rich Sturm told the Call that the depth of this group is exceptional, including eight seniors, some of whom are on the varsity squad for their fourth year.

“We’ve got 11 players that were on the varsity last year so I think we’re going to rely on that experience …,” he said. “We’ve got great depth. The three or four girls that we’ll have not starting will be capable of coming in and starting, or pinch hitting or pinch running, or whatever the case may be.

“So, we are very happy with what we have.”

Three key players of that returning group are pitcher Alex Frenz, catcher Jordan Michalski and shortstop Katie Reed.

“That is kind of the nucleus of that senior group, and obviously we are going to rely heavily on those three,” Sturm said.

During a preseason interview, he said the two vacated starting roles would be filled by Courtney Kern, who will play an outfield position, and freshman Maddie Michalski, Jordan’s younger sister, will step in to the second-base position.

Sturm said a crucial factor in having a solid season and a deep playoff run is consistency from the beginning of the season.

“We want to get off on the right foot,” he said. “These kids that have been with me know it’s a short season. So it’s about consistency, you know. You can’t play good one week and then poor the next.

“I mean, you play a lot of games in a short amount of time. So right now in these three weeks of practice we are trying to build momentum into trying to get to as close to where we want to be as possible,” the coach continued.

“You don’t want to peak too early in the season, but you also want to make sure that first game that your team is ready to play, physically and mentally. We are far from perfect, but each practice we are working hard to get better.”