Notes: sr.–senior, jr.–junior, so.–sophomore, fr.–freshman, C–catcher, 1B–first base, 2B–second base, 3B–third base, SS–shortstop, LF–left field, CF–center field, RF–right field, OF–outfield, IF–infield, DP–designated player, UTIL–utility.
CAPITAL AREA ACTIVITIES CONFERNCE (CAAC) BLUE
Coaches’ predictions: 1. Holt, 2. Grand Ledge, 3. Okemos, T-4. East Lansing, Jackson 6. Eastern, 7. Everett 8. Sexton
Top players: Kaleigh King (Okemos), Kate Buckland (Okemos), Bry Chapman (Holt), Lindsay Reed (Holt), Andrea Petrowitz (East Lansing), Amber Smith (Eastern), Emily Songer (Grand Ledge)
Last year: 4th (15-13)
Coach: Jeff Lampi (1st season)
Top returning players: Emma Booth (sr.-C), Myles Grandstaff (sr.-OF), Brayette Garcia (sr.-IF), Aaliyah Render (sr.-OF), Andrea Petrowitz (jr.-P), Kaitlynn Johnson (jr.-SS/P).
Other contributors: Taylor Ward (sr.-1B), Alyssa Forsthoefel (jr.-IF/OF), Hannah Skinner (so.-IF)
Outlook: The Trojans have a solid core of players with varsity experience and Lampi believes improvement defensively this season could lead to positive things. Petrowitz and Booth are returning all-league players that have East Lansing optimistic it can finish in the upper half of the league.
Last year: 6th (10-21)
Coach: Ramona Mendez (6th season)
Top returning players: Amber Smith (sr.-SS), Maribel Ovalle (sr.-P/UTIL), Keturah Horner (sr.-OF), Mariah Medina (sr.-P/UTIL)
Other contributors: Gabriella Ramirez (jr.-3B/2B/OF), Hannah DeJaegher (jr.-1B/P)
Outlook: The Quakers have more experience than they’ve had in past seasons and will be counting on that to help them compete in the league.
Last year: 7th
Coach: Liz Ballinger (4th season)
Top returning players: Marissa Marsh (sr.-C), Mariah Hernandez (so.-P/IF), Danielle White (so.-P/1B), Naycia Jackson (jr.-P/IF)
Other contributors: Destiney Hernandez (fr.-OF)
Outlook: The Vikings have all but one player returning from their team last season and expect to improve on last year’s record with some young talent.
Last year: 1st (23-12)
Coach: Pat Malloy (3rd season)
Top returning players: Emily Songer (so.-P/3B), Kenzie Trieweiler (so.-CF), Kahlei Etheridge (so.-1B), Jess Cotter (jr.-P), Kaylee Dumond (so.-OF)
Other contributors: Olivia Dawson (fr.-C), Lindsey Goodman (fr.-SS), Bre Rodriguez (fr.-2B)
Outlook: The Comets have just one senior and two juniors in the program but have a young and talented team that expects to be a key challenger in the CAAC Blue.
Last year: 1st (29-9)
Coach: Kim Reichard (18th season)
Top returning players: Lindsay Reed (sr./2B/SS), Ashley Lounds (sr.-1B/OF), Maddie Denison (sr.-DP/3B), Bry Chapman (jr.-P/OF/SS), Olivia Cottom (jr.-SS/3B), Tracee Hartley (jr.-C/OF), Kendall Bird (jr.-OF/2B), Madison Sabrosky (jr-OF), Mackinley Lane (so.-3B/C/1B)
Other contributors: Devyn Demello (so.-P/OF), Kayla Sadler (so.-P/OF), Kasey Ramirez (jr.-OF), Kasey Bendele (sr.-OF)
Outlook: The Rams return nine players that started last season and Chapman – an honorable mention all-state selection a year ago – will lead the team in the circle. Holt is aiming for another strong season.
Last year: 27-9
Coach: Chrissy Schoonover (sixth season)
Top returning players: Kaleigh King (sr.-SS/3B), Kate Buckland (jr.-C), Elizabeth Knox (jr.-CF), Emilee Wilkinson (jr.-P/1B)
Other contributors: Mari Hernandez (jr.-P/2B), Katie Betterly (so.-P/1B)
Season outlook: The Chiefs will rely on a strong junior class that has significant varsity experience to help them build off last year’s success. Buckland is among those juniors and recently verbally committed to Mercer. Okemos is looking to Wilkinson, Hernandez and Betterly to fill the void in hte circle.
Coaches’ predictions: 1. St. Johns, 2. Owosso, 3. Mason, 4. DeWitt, 5. Haslett, 6. Waverly.
Top players: Keelin McManus (Haslett), Lexi Cornwell (Mason), Haylee Zyrowski (Owosso), Kayleigh Smith (St. Johns)
Last year: 16-17
Coach: Adam Nolen (1st season)
Top returning players: Ally Hawkins (jr.-IF/OF), Abby VanLake (jr.-C/IF), Nikki Willard (so.-P/IF), McKenna Purves (sr.-IF), Erica Lee (so.-1B), Kortney Simon (jr.-P/OF), Kenzie Kost (jr.-IF/OF)
Other contributors: Cassie Viella (jr.-OF), Taylor Villarreal (jr.-IF), Raquel Gonzalez (sr.-IF)
Outlook: The Panthers hope their experience at several positions will help it to success this season. Hawkins and VanLake are returning all-league and all-district players and lead DeWitt’s experience.
Last year: 6th (14-20)
Coach: Dan Rushtorfer (4th season)
Top returning players: Erin Panter (jr.-P/OF), Keelin McManus (so.-P/C/INF), Sam Munson (so.-P/C/INF)
Other contributors: Abby Boss (fr.-INF/OF), Maggi Regan (fr.-INF/OF)
Outlook: The Vikings lost eight players from last year but returned a trio of pitchers in Panter, McManus and Munson. All can also hit and are expected to help the Vikings compete in the Red.
Last year: 15-9
Coach: Casei Marlan
Top returning players: Lexi Cornwell (sr.-P/1B), Kait Houghton (sr.-2B), Megan Ries (sr.-OF), Jenelle McCoy (jr.-3B/C)
Other contributors: Emily VanHavel (sr.-1B/OF)
Outlook: The Bulldogs are rebuilding this season and consistency will be a key this season. Mason will rely on experienced returners like Cornwell to lead the way.
Last year: 3rd (18-16)
Coach: Jo Ellen Smith (32nd season)
Top returning players: Haylee Zyrowski (sr.-C/OF), Brooklyn Jodway (sr.-P/OF), Katelyn Jones (so.-2B), Sarah Vreibel (sr.-3B), Sally Armstrong (so.-1B)
Other contributors: Anna Minarikova (sr.-C/OF), Maegan Jodway (fr.-P/OF), Hannah Ardelean (fr.-P/IF/OF)
Outlook: Zyrowski set a school record in triples last season and is among the veterans on an Owosso team that expects to be solid offensively and defensively and compete in the Red.
Last year: 1st (21-13)
Coach: Barry Palmer (16th season)
Top returning players: Kayleigh Smith (sr.-P/OF), Alex Davis (sr.-1B/DP), Adriann Simison (jr.-C), Montana Barnard (jr.-P), Lauren Bates (so.-P/OF), Kendall Smith (so.-OF), Jamie Carroll (so.-SS), Jenna Sillman (sr.-OF/DP)
Other contributors: Madison Ballinger (jr.-2B/3B/SS), Maya Zell (so.-C/3B)
Outlook: The Redwings have a good mix of veterans and underclassmen and power and speed. St. Johns hopes having seven starters back will help it content again this spring.
Last year: 6th (12-21)
Coach: Terry Hadley (21st season)
Top returning players: Bailey Ruedisale (sr.-P/1B), Allison Stump (sr.-3B/SS), Kylie Maldonaldo (sr.-C/3B), Makailah Jackson (jr.-P/1B)
Other contributors: Madison Stump (fr.-C/3B)
Outlook: The Warriors are hoping for a healthy season after injuries hurt them last season. Ruedisale and Stump are fourth year varsity players and will be counted on by Waverly.
Coaches’ predictions:1. Portland, 2. Eaton Rapids, 3. Williamston, 4. Fowlerville, 5. Lansing Catholic, 6. Ionia
Top players: Olivia O’Connor (Eaton Rapids), Elly Wythe (Eaton Rapids), Jaylen Barker (Portland), Kenzie Teachout (Portland)
Last year: 1st (31-8)
Coach: Scott Warriner (11th season)
Top returning players: Olivia O’Connor (sr.-SS), Shelby Steele (jr.-P/3B), Mandy Prieskorn (jr.-C), Elly Wythe (so.-CF), Kay Zimmerman (sr.-LF), Miranda Hector (sr.-OF/2B)
Other contributors: Aubrie Benward (fr.-3B/P), McKenzie Anderson (fr.-1B/P), Haley Overholtz (so.-2B), Cashlin Handziak (so.-1B/P)
Outlook: The Greyhounds lost 10 players from last year’s team but expect to be highly competitive and in the thick of league, district and regional title chases.
Last year: 2nd (18-14)
Coach: Matt Copeland (6th season)
Top returning players: Dominique Turner (sr.-P), Hannah Powell (jr.-C), Riley McGuire (jr.-IF)
Other contributors: Kaci Cruz (jr.-IF), Summer Cebula (sr.-OF), Hannah Mills (sr.-OF)
Outlook: The Gladiators have learning and growing to do as they replace four all-league seniors from last year’s district championship team.
Coach: Hub Waite (27th season)
Top returning players: Eliese Hornberger (sr.-2B), Mary Perry (so.-SS), Kathleen McQuillan (sr.-CF), Clair Phifer (jr.-C)
Other contributors: Brianna Babcock (sr.-P), Alexa Hecksel (sr.-OF)
Outlook: The Cougars have some experience but are hoping to be more consistent this season on defense. Hornberger, who hit .495 last season, and Babcock, who has made progress in the circle, could help Lansing Catholic find success.
Last year: 2nd (26-6)
Coach: Jack Anderson (35th season)
Top returning players: Jaylen Barker (sr.-OF), Jori Rutkowski (so.-OF), Kenzie Teachout (sr.-SS), Rachel Click (jr.-C)
Other contributors: Olivia Roe (jr.-2B), Shelby Battley (fr.-P), Bryn Goodman (jr.-P), Aubry Gross (jr.-3B)
Outlook: The Raiders have four starters returning and three others with limited varsity experience. That includes young pitching with freshmen Battley and Abby Grys among a trio competing for time in the circle. Anderson believes his team will have an opportunity to become good as the season progresses.
Last year: 3rd (22-11-1)
Coach: Lindsey Hansen (3rd season)
Top returning players: Anna Goff (jr.-P/IF), Sarah Reichstetter (sr.-IF/P), Kalise Moeckel (jr.-UTIL), Emma Eisenbeis (sr.-OF)
Other contributors: Kelsey Harbert (sr.-IF), Tucker Alchin (sr.-C), Rachell Craner (so.-UTIL), Hannah Pollak (jr).
Outlook: The Hornets’ goals are to finish in the upper half of their league and capture a second district title in three years. Williamston has to replace its infield starters from a year ago but Hansen believes the ability is there to fill those positions.
CENTRAL MICHIGAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE (CMAC)
Coaches’ predictions: 1. Saranac, 2. Fowler, 3. St. Patrick, 4. Laingsburg, T-5. Bath, Fulton, 7. Pewamo-Westphalia, 8. Dansville, 9. Potterville.
Top players: Taryn Peru (Bath), Connor Proctor (Fulton), Kara Schafer (Fowler), Tori Wirth (Fowler), Katie Eppard (Laingsburg)
Last year: 4th
Coach: Darren Buck (4th season)
Top returning players: Haley Thomas (sr.-P), Taylor Buck (so.-SS), Kailey Wahrer (so.-1B)
Other contributors: Bailey Holtham (so.-CF), Taryn Peru (fr.-INF)
Outlook: The Bees will be young with 12 underclassmen on their roster this season. Thomas and sophomore Emma Kyes will be looked to fill the void in the circle for Bath.
Last year: 15-19
Coach: Jeff Cheadle (28th season)
Top returning players: Sara Hurst (sr.-P), Katie Britten (sr.-C), Katie Eppard (so.-SS), Lindsey Smith (jr.-1B), Maddy Byrnes (jr.-3B), Gracie Nelson (sr.-OF)
Other contributors: Tyler Adkins (so.-2B), Michelle Hannah (fr.-OF), Elaine Dedic (so.-IF/OF)
Outlook: The Wolfpack return a majority of their players from a team that played well at the end of last season and won a district title. Laingsburg expects to compete for a CMAC title if it gets good pitching.
Last year: 0-18
Coach: Jim Schwartz (1st season)
Top returning players: Emily Morris (jr.-3B), Taylor Madina (jr.-OF), Michaela Johnson (jr.-SS), Megan Bonney (jr.-C), Bridget King (jr.-OF), Rachel Morris (so-OF)
Outlook: The Lions have eight freshmen, including both of their pitchers, and their success will be dictated by how the youth develop.
Last year: 8th (9-20)
Coach: Brent Thelen (1st season)
Top returning players: Bailee Moffitt (sr.-P), Allie Smith (sr.-P/OF), Taylor Smith (sr.-OF), Sydni Bearss (sr.-P/C/OF), Kim Sterner (sr.-OF), Shannon Wohlfert (sr.-C), MacKenzie Thelen (jr.-IF), Alyssa Nurnenberg (jr.-IF)
Other contributors: Hannah Thelen (jr.-P/IF), MacKenzie Wirth (jr.-OF), Skyler Cicigoi (jr.-C), Leslie Thelen (jr.-IF/OF)
Outlook: P-W expects to be improved in every aspect this season and hope that leads to an improvement in the standings this season.
Last year: 9th (2-23)
Coach: Scott Joseph (8th season)
Top returning players: Taryn Joseph (sr.-C/2B), Kasadey Austin (sr.-P/3B), Shiann Wabindato (so.-INF), Alyssa Anthony (so.-UTIL)
Other contributors: Bree Kubasczyk (fr.-C/INF), Logan Marsh (sr.-UTIL)
Outlook: Potterville expects to bet better this season with most of its starters from a year ago returning. Pitching is the main question mark for Potterville.
Last year: 3rd (21-9)
Coach: Terry Johnson (5th season)
Top returning players: Sydney Gage (sr.-OF), Kaylee Hardy (sr.-C), Haley Lake (sr.-OF), Macaela Perry (sr.-OF), Nicole Henderson (jr.-1B), Kenzie Henderson (jr.-1B), Kenzie Jackson (jr.-2B), Josie Manion (jr.-P/SS), Maddy Miller (jr.-P/IF/OF)
Other contributors: Andrea Chapman (so.-IF/OF), Kelsey Coulier (so.-IF/OF)
Outlook: Contending for league and district titles are the top goals for Saranac, which has five all-district players returning from last year’s team.
GREATER LANSING ACTIVITIES CONFERENCE
Coaches’ predictions: Lakewood, Olivet, Perry, Stockbridge, Leslie, Maple Valley
Top players: Kennedy Geiger (Lakewood), Lauren Hazel (Lakewood), Emily Barker (Lakewood)
Last year: 1st (28-10)
Coach: Kristin Heinze (11th season)
Top returning players: Kennedy Geiger (so.-P), Emily Barker (jr.-SS/C), Lauren Hazel (sr.-1B/OF)
Other contributors: Kennedy Hilley (sr.-P/UTIL), Maranda Barton (so.-P), Katelyn Richmond (so.-C)
Outlook: Lakewood lacks some experience but has three solid pitchers, some strong hitters and speed on the base paths that can help it overcome the loss of six starters.
Last year: 20-15
Coach: Steve Meyer (5th season)
Top returning players: Alissa Costello (sr.-IF), Hannah Mathie (sr.-OF), Jordan Richmond (jr.-IF), Kara Mott (jr.-C/OF), Shawna Morton (jr.-P/IF)
Outlook: The Eagles have seven players with varsity experience returning, including five starters, and have high expectations for this season. Olivet expects to contend for the inaugural GLAC title.
Last year: 16-13
Coach: Greg Hallock
Top returning players: Lauren Aldrich (sr.-1B), Chasity Potter (sr.-C).
Other contributors: Amber Shaylor (fr.-P/OF), Aubrey Larner (fr.-IF), Logan Slee (so.-IF)
Outlook: Aldrich hit .457 with eight homers a year ago and will lead a young Perry team that features three sophomore and three freshmen.
Last year: 18-18
Coach: Darren Hejnal (16th season)
Top returning players: Shelby Hastings (sr./SS), Jena Smith (sr.-P), Hailee Smith (sr.-C)
Other contributors: Maddie Armstrong (sr.-1B), Savhanna Mancini (sr.-2B), Jessi Taylor (so.-CF/C), Rachel Smith (so.-OF).
Outlook: Stockbridge will have a demanding schedule this season and it hopes that will prepare it for the postseason. Hejnal expects Smith to keep Stockbridge in games and the offensie to improve as the season progresses.
Last year: 3rd (20-12)
Coach: Dar Peska (2nd season)
Top returning players: Kylee Chaffin (jr.-P/SS), Brooklyn Dolloff (jr.-CF), Paige Shaw (jr.-C), Mackenzie Thompson (sr.-1B), Courtney Cooley (sr.-3B), Madison Pung (jr.-LF), Jordan Town (sr.-RF)
Other contributors: Kayla Belles (fr.-P/SS)
Outlook: The Yellowjackets expect to be in contention for a TVC West title. Peska believes he has several of the top players in the league and Belles’ presence in the circle could determine the team’s success.
Last year: 19-11
Coach: Gene Munro/Ann Hargrove (3rd season)
Top returning players: Averi Munro (jr.-C), Lauren Barnes (sr.-1B), Melissa Allen (sr.-2B), Julie O’Berry (so.-P), Jayden Wood (so.-3B)
Outlook: Averi Munro is a returning all-state selection and Barnes and Allen are veterans that hope to help Morrice compete for a district crown.
Last year: 8th (7-23)
Coach: Andrew Smith (5th season)
Top returning players: Kaleigh Atkins (sr.-3B/SS), Kayla Crandall (sr.-C/SS), Alysa Badour (jr.-2B/P), Jordan Burrum (sr.-C/3B/OF), MacKenzie Tyler (so.-P/OF)
Other contributors: Emily Nelson (sr.-OF), Maci Kubiak (fr.-P)
Outlook: Crandall and Atkins are four-year starters and among nine seniors for the Spartans. Webberville has improved pitching depth this season and hopes that helps it return to its winning ways.
This preview reflects information submitted to the LSJ by area coaches.