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
Leave a Comment