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Experience bodes well for Lady Truckers

By Norwalk Reflector Staff • Mar 24, 2016 at 8:00 AM

With eight contributors from a team which placed second in the Northern Ohio League, the Norwalk softball team has high expectations entering the 2016 season.

“Our team really wants to contend and win the NOL for the first time in school history,’’ fourth-year coach Callie Baker said. ”The girls also want to beat the all time wins in a season record, which was 16-9 in 2009. Last season, we were 15-10 (9-3 in NOL), so they are looking to break that record.’’

The returners include seniors Megan Ewing, Courtney Pelham, Bailey Thomas, Carlie Conney and Kennedy Conney and juniors Kayla Appeman, Kaitlyn Stoll and Addie Mannino.

Ewing, an outfielder, is a three-year letter-winner and returning first-team all-league and first-team all-district selection.

Pelham a utility player; Thomas, pitcher and Carlie Conney, catcher, are also three-year letter-winners.

Last season, Pelham earned second-team all-NOL and first-team all-district honors, Thomas first team all-league and Conney second-team all-NOL.

Kennedy Conney, shortstop; Appeman, pitcher and utility and Stoll, infielder, are two-year letter-winners.

Conney picked up second team all-league and Appeman honorable mention all-NOL accolades in the 2015 season.

Mannino, an infielder, brings back one-letter.

Junior Caila Case, infielder; sophomores Leah Malson, infield-utility and Maddie Diederick, third base and freshman Sydney Hughes, utility, round out the squad.

Jennifer Swartz and Ben Krupp are assistant coaches. Corrie Kaple leads the reserve team.

The Lady Truckers will have to replace four key players from last season.

Erica Leber, a first baseman, is playing softball at Heidelberg, Makayla Cook, outfielder, is at Defiance College in basketball, Bridgette Schweizer was the team’s designated player and had a lot of key hits for the team last season and Kayla Walsh was the ultimate utility player and filled various roles needed all season long.

Baker, who is 36-34 at Norwalk, envisions a tough league this season.

’’I think the league will be very competitive,’’ she said. ’’Last year, Tiffin and Willard were young and competitive and are bringing back a lot.

”Ontario and Sandusky are always very scrappy and play all the way through to the last out,’’ the coach added. ’’Bellevue and Shelby are always strong as well. As always, this should be another great year in the league with a lot of competitive games.’’

Norwalk is headed to the Cal Ripken Experience in Myrtle Beach, S.C. to play five games.

They are slated to play at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday against North Bergen (N.J.); 4:30 p.m. Wednesday vs St. Francis DeSales (Columbus); 8:30 p.m. March 31 vs St. John Villa (N.Y.) and 11 a.m. Moore Catholic (N.Y.) and 1 p.m. Sacred Heart Academy (N.Y.) April 1.

Schedule

Games start at 4:30 p.m. unless noted.

April 4: Shelby

April 5: Bellevue

April 6: at Port Clinton

April 7: at Willard

April 8: at Edison 4:45 p.m.

April 9: Western Reserve 1 p.m.

April 9: Western Reserve 3 p.m.

April 11: at Sandusky

April 12: Ontario

April 14: at Tiffin Columbian

April 16: at Madison Comprehensive 11 a.m.

April 16: at Madison Comprehensive 1 p.m.

April 19: at Shelby 5 p.m.

April 21: at Huron

April 23: Clyde 11 a.m.

April 26: Willard

April 28: Sandusky

April 29: Crestview

May 3: Tiffin Columbian

May 5: at Bellevue

May 10: at Ontario 5 p.m.

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