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Softball: 2023 Mogadore Wildcats season preview

Softball: 2023 Mogadore Wildcats season preview


The 2022 Mogadore Wildcats celebrate the Portage Trail Conference championship.

By Tom Nader

Publisher and Editor


The high school softball preview for the Mogadore Wildcats’ 2023 season:



Head Coach: Jeff Fankhauser, 5th year, 54-16 career record.

Coaching Staff: Tom Pollock.

2022 Record: 14-5 overall.

Returning Letterwinners (8): McKenna Whitehead, sr.; Katie Gardner, jr.; Olivia Kidd, jr.; Savannah Thomas, jr.; Bri McQuain, jr.; Addie Christy, soph.; Gracie Funk, soph.; Lily Hotchkiss, soph.



The Wildcats are the two-time reigning champions in the Portage Trail Conference and return plenty of talent to push for a three-peat in 2023.

“Our biggest strengths are our team camaraderie and desire to improve every day,” head coach Jeff Fankhauser said.



Olivia Kidd: .585 average, 17 hits, 11 doubles, 21 RBI, 16 runs.

Addie Christy: .386 average, 22 hits, 3 pitching wins, 3.18 ERA, 22.0 innings pitched.

Katie Gardner: 19 hits, 6 doubles, 2 triples, 12 RBI, 20 runs, 10 pitching wins, 115 strikeouts, 1.56 ERA, 89.2 innings pitched.

McKenna Whitehead: 5 doubles, 12 RBI, 17 runs.

Lily Hotchkiss: 17 RBI, 16 runs.



First Base — Junior Katie Gardner and sophomore Addie Christy will share time at first base.

Each will hold down the position while the other is inside the circle pitching.

Gardner was a First Team All-Portage Trail Conference performer last year.


Second Base — Senior McKenna Whitehead will be the returning starter at second base. It will be her third season starting at second and she was named First Team All-PTC a year ago.


Shortstop — Lily Hotchkiss earned the starting position last year as a freshman and she returns for her sophomore campaign.

A pair of freshmen, Peyton Walker and Collin Finley, will be backups across the infield for the Cats.


Third Base — The trio of Olivia Kidd, MJ Shellenbarger and Jayden Miller will all see time at the hot corner. Kidd will also spend some time at catcher, which will free up the time for the freshmen duo.

Kidd had a tremendous sophomore season last year, earning First Team All-PTC honors and All-Ohio status.



Centerfield — Sophomore Gracie Funk returns to her starting spot after a solid freshman season.


Left Field and Right Field — The group of Bri McQuain, Savannah Thomas, Rylee Clark and Embry Hudak are all competing for time in the corner outfield positions.



Gardner and Christy will both handle pitching duties.

Gardner handled the bulk of the innings a year ago and is expected to do the same again this season.



March 25: vs. Akron East

March 28: at Woodridge

March 29: at Waterloo

March 30: Ellet

April 10: vs. Southeast

April 11: at Rootstown

April 13: at Lake Center Christian

April 14: at Crestwood

April 15: vs. Minerva

April 17: vs. St. Thomas Aquinas

April 18: at Warren JFK

April 20: vs. Norton

April 21: vs. Ravenna

April 24: vs. Lake Center Christian

April 25: at Southeast

April 27: vs. Warren JFK

April 28: at Springfield

May 1: vs. Rootstown

May 2: at St. Thomas Aquinas

May 4: vs. Firestone

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