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"We look to improve on last year's record. Our defense will be led by returning 3-year letter winner and senior captain Mady Phillips, and the battery of Lauren Frigyes and Kiaunna Brown. Our offense will be led by Phillips, Amber Hume and Gabby Street," commented Minerva head softball coach Nicole Hilliard on her 2017 squad.
The Lady Lions return seven letter winners from last year's 10-13 squad -- senior Mady Phillips (shortstop) and juniors Amber Hume (first base), Aburrey Stanford (outfield), Gabby Street (third base), Kiaunna Brown (catcher), Peyton Morgan (second base) and Lauren Frigyes (pitcher).
A year ago, Hume was selected to the East District first team and NBC honorable mention; and Phillips was named to the East District second team and NBC honorable mention.
Also being looked upon to contribute are sophomores Stella Boldizar and Alex Street; and freshmen Elyssa Imler, Shea Cress and Olivia Kamph.
Coach Hilliard projects her starting lineup to consist of Frigyes on the mound, Brown behind the plate, Hume at first, Morgan at second, Street at third, Phillips at short, Cress in right field, Stanford in center, and Imler in left field.
"We expect to see some of our younger players make an impact in the varsity lineup as we have a very young and talented team," commented Coach Hilliard. "The NBC is a tough league and has done well to prepare us for our postseason. These girls have put in many training hours this offseason to help propel them towards their team and individual goals.
"Our coaching staff is very excited to get this season under way."
Minerva was to open the season against Claymont on March 27 and West Branch on March 28. The girls will travel to New Philadelphia this Saturday, April 1 for a double header; host Alliance on Monday, April 3; and travel to Marlington on Tuesday, April 4.