By Tom Nader
Publisher and Editor
High school softball preview for the Aurora Greenmen’s upcoming 2023 season:
Head Coach: Sam Petrash, 6th season, 61-33 career record.
Coaching Staff: Sarah Ross, Curtis Barker, Gregg Unverferth, Jerry Gattozzi.
2022 Record: 15-8 overall; 11-3 Suburban League American Division.
Returning Letterwinners (9): Maggie McVicker, sr.; McKennah Metzger, jr.; Madeline Dalessandro, jr.; Julia Miller, soph.; Sophie Petrash, soph.; Avery Qualters, soph.; Sophie Retton, soph.; Sophie Schechterman, soph.; Rayna Unverferth, soph.;
Letterwinners Lost (3): Mackenzie Krafcik, Ava Ryncarz, Kayla Ring.
Team Captains: None. “It is a team choice,” Petrash said. “The players want to play as equals and have fun performing for each other.”
Underclassmen to Watch: Lailah Bohanon, Alexis Kemble, Abby Dalessandro, Addison Witting.
“We are a young team with a high IQ, trust, skill and athleticism,” Petrash said. “We built a strong schedule to challenge us and help us reach our year-end goals.
“We are young, but we have a lot of experience,” said Petrash, who points to the team’s chemistry as a strength for the season.
“We also have a lot of flexibility to adjust to any game situation.”
Third baseman McVicker highlights the group and is an Otterbein commit, but there is plenty of versatility across the infield for the Greenmen.
McVicker totaled 27 hits (12 extra-base hits), 19 runs and hit eight doubles last year, being named Second Team All-Suburban League.
Metzger, Miller, Qualters, Retton and freshman Lailah Bohanon all provide depth at the corners.
Meanwhile, the middle infield is filled with athletes as well, including Petrash, Unverferth, Abby Dalessandro, along with freshman Alexis Kemble and Addison Witting.
This is a group that can “close space and also have strong arms,” according to Petrash.
Madeline and Abby Dalessandro both will get opportunities, as will Qualters, Retton and Witting.
Both Schechterman and Madeline Dalessandro will get time as the team’s catcher.
“Both have high softball IQs and take control of the defense in their own ways,” Petrash said.
Metzgar leads the staff and has committed to continue her academic and softball careers at Kent State.
She was the Suburban League’s Player of the Year last season, finishing with an 8-3 record and 1.93 earned-run average, with 80 strikeouts and just 19 walks in 61.3 innings of work.
At the plate, Metzger, who can also play first base, led Aurora with five home runs, 37 hits and 17 extra-base hits. She also had 12 doubles, batted .446 and drove in 27.
Retton and Bohanon give the Greenmen depth.
“All three are strong pitchers,” Petrash said.
March 27: vs. Olentangy Berlin (Florida Tournament)
March 28: vs. Trinity Christian Academy (Florida Tournament)
March 30: at Austintown Fitch
April 1: at Nordonia (DH)
April 3: vs. Tallmadge
April 5: at Kent Roosevelt
April 6: vs. Solon
April 7: at North Canton Hoover
April 10: vs. Barberton
April 11: vs. Cuyahoga Falls
April 12: vs. Highland
April 14: at Revere
April 15: vs. Green (DH)
April 17: vs. Copley
April 19: at Cuyahoga Falls
April 21: at Tallmadge
April 22: vs. Boardman (DH)
April 24: vs. Kent Roosevelt
April 26: at Barberton
April 27: at Copley
May 1: at Highland
May 3: vs. Revere
May 4: at Walsh Jesuit
Better watch sophomore Sophia Retton this season. She was all conference last season as a freshman. This week In Orlando she hit .629 with 4 homeruns and pitched 1 game to Olentangy Orange from Columbus, Ohio only giving up 1 run. Aurora won the game 6-1.
Oops sophMore, Sophia Retton, suburban, first team, as a freshman, batted a .639 with 4 home runs in Orlando, Florida. While Retton pitched against Olentangy Orange, Columbus, Ohio, only giving up 1 earned run for the Aurora win of 6 -1.