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McPherson High Softball Looking to Remain atop Div. III in 2023

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By Grant Barrett, Ad Astra Radio

 

McPHERSON, Kan. – After finishing in the middle of the pack of the AVCTL Div. III in 2021, the McPherson High Softball team made tremendous progress last season, going undefeated in the league, and finishing with an overall record of 18-4 after falling in the Regional Finals to Rock Creek.

The Pups lost three key pieces to graduation and will be relying on three seniors again this season to lead a talented young core. Head Coach Danica Fitzmorris is set to begin her 9th season, she said, “Having nine freshmen and ten sophomores that play summer ball makes for a quality young program.” said reigning AVCTL Div. III Coach of the Year, adding. “There are several athletes in this group that have played softball since they were young, and have a lot of softball experience.”

Kelcy Bergstrom will return as a first-team all-league outfielder from a season ago, and four-sport athlete Chloe Clevenger returns as an honorable mention selection last season at second base. Sayge Salmans completes the senior trio, coming in with experience as a catcher and designated player. 

Juniors Olivia Cheatham and Alex Romero garnered honorable mention honors in the outfield, and Fitzmorris credited their performance the last two seasons. Karter Alvord will also be a key piece offensively and at shortstop, earning honorable mention honors as a sophomore last season. Reanna Eilrich adds experience to the infield, as well as behind the plate as a catcher. 

Addison Chapman and Addie Herrera found themselves in the circle a handful of times as freshmen, Chapman also had an incredible freshman year at the plate, earning 1st team league honors as a designated player. 

Coach Fitzmorris anticipates several pitchers within the group that will assist in helping carry the load this season including Addie Harlin, Brooke Doile, and Ava Romero. “Our prospects in the circle are diverse, and will keep our competitors on their toes,” said Fitzmorris, noting that the goal is to maintain the top spot in the league. 

The Mac High Softball team will open their season on Thursday, with a home-and-home series with the Buhler Crusaders; Game 1 will be played at 6:30 p.m following the JV game at 4:30. They will face one another at Grant Complex to conclude the series on April 6. 

The Pups will be tested aside from their AVCTL Div. III opponents including a quad with Derby, who finished 3rd in the 6A Tournament last year. Other 6A opponents include Manhattan, and Junction City, before taking on 5A Emporia, Maize, Great Bend and Salina South. MHS will conclude the regular season on the road with a doubleheader with Andale. 

Below is the complete varsity schedule:
3/23 @ Buhler 6:30
3/28 @ Manhattan Triangular (Great Bend v Mac 5 pm, Manhattan v Mac 6:30 pm)
3/30 vs Circle 4:00 pm
4/6 vs Buhler 6:00 pm
4/11 vs Liberal and Maize (Triangular)
4/13 vs Winfield 4:00 pm
4/18 vs Derby, Emporia, Louisburg (Triangular)
4/24 @ Augusta 4:30 pm
5/1 vs Mulvane 4:00 pm
5/5 vs Great Bend, Junction City, Salina South (Quad)
5/8 @ Andale 4:30 pm
5/16 Regional TBA
5/25 State-Salina TBA
5/26 State-Salina TBA

*Dates via www.avctl.org as of 3/21/23

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