By Tom Nader
Publisher and Editor
The softball preview for the Southeast Pirates’ 2023 season:
Head Coach: Erin Muncy, 6th year, 33-45 career record.
Coaching Staff: Ben Kobus, Heather Lindsay.
2022 Record: 8-8 overall, 6-4 Portage Trail Conference.
Returning Letterwinners (8): Mack Foor, sr.; Jade Whitely, sr.; Lexi Morris, jr.; Mya Sutcliffe, jr.; Kylie Byrd, soph.; Addie Goldstein, soph.; Ava Stephens, soph.; Brooklynn Tooley, soph.
Letterwinners Lost (3): Cecilia Stephens, Adrianne Rouse, Brookelyn Hacker.
Ava Stephens: .429 average, 21 hits, 7 doubles, 17 runs, 14 stolen bases.
Lexi Morris: .323 average.
Addie Goldstein: .354 average, 17 hits, 17 runs.
Mya Sutcliffef: .897 fielding percentage.
“We believe we will be competitive in all games this year,” head coach Erin Muncy said. “We have a nice mix of returning players with experience, along with freshman that will step in right away. We think Rootstown and Mogadore will be the teams to beeat this year in the PTC.”
The Pirates possess versatility across the infield, which gives the team options.
“We have knowledge and experience in all the infield positions with our returning players,” Muncy said.
Senior Mack Foor will play first base, with sophomore Lilly Massrock as the backup.
At second base, junior Lexi Morris and sophomore Addie Goldstein will share time.
Goldstein was named Second Team All-Portage Trail Conference last season.
Mya Sutcliffe, a junior who had an .897 fielding percentage last season, will play at shortstop, while third base will have Jade Whitely, a Second Team All-PTC performer last year, will start.
Freshman Morgan Muncy will also play multiple positions when she is not pitching.
Like the infield, there is versatility here for Southeast, including some of the team’s catchers and infielders will also have the ability to play in the outfield.
“Speed is our strength,” Muncy said.
Kylie Byrd, Brooklyn Tooley, Ava Stephens, Addie Goldstein, Morris and Muncy will also see time in the outfield.
Sophomore Ava Stephens returns after a phenomenal freshman season. She was named First Team All-PTC after hitting .429, collecting 21 hits and scoring 17 runs.
The effort also earned her Honorable Mention All-District as well.
Tooley, along with freshman Bailey Morris, will also do some catching.
For the first time in five years, the Pirates will have someone new inside the circle following the graduation of Cecilia Stephens, who was also a huge part of the Pirates’ offense last year (.511 average, 8 home runs, 25 RBI).
The replacement group includes a pair of freshmen (Morgan Muncy and Liv Bragg) and a sophomore (Kylie Byrd).
“We are excited and looking forward to improving up[on last year as we return plenty of experience throughout the lineup,” Muncy said.
“Our biggest concern at this point would be the lack of varsity pitching experience,” Muncy said.
March 27: vs. Grand Valley
March 29: at Jackson-Milton
April 3: vs. Lake Center Christian
April 4: vs. St. Thomas Aquinas
April 5: at Ravenna
April 6: at Garfield
April 7: vs. Windham
April 10: at Mogadore
April 11: at Warren JFK
April 12: vs. Ravenna
April 17: vs. Rootstown
April 18: at Lake Center Christian
April 19: vs. Mineral Ridge
April 20: at Waterloo
April 22: vs. Chaney
April 24: at St. Thomas Aquinas
April 25: vs. Mogadore
April 26: vs. Newton Falls
April 27: vs. Liberty
April 28: vs. Akron East
May 1: vs. Warren JFK
May 2: at Rootstown
May 3: at Mineral Ridge
May 4: vs. Waterloo
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