?Stronger game? key for MHS

These seniors and letter-winners will anchor the Marion softball team this season: front row (from left), Megan Richmond, Alyssa Edwards, Cheyenne Jeffrey, Megan Davies, Amanda Stuchlik; back row, Reann Hamm, Sam Davies, Shayla Kline, Bailey Robson, Kayla Kroupa.The Marion softball team will build on last year?s 8-9 record under the direction of second-year coach Jennifer Felvus.

?I am excited for the season, and so are the girls,? Felvus said. ?We are building on last year?s progress and success.

?Our focus for the season is ?stronger game,? and that is exactly what I expect to see as we take the field.?

The Warriors lost five seniors to graduation, but return a number of key contributors.

Heading the list is senior pitcher Megan Richmond, who is expected to be a force on the mound and at the plate.

?Megan brings a lot of high school experience,? Felvus said. ?She also brings leadership. Megan is a natural leader, and the girls find it easy to follow her.?

The Warriors also return sophomore Kayla Kroupa who saw time on the mound last year and in the outfield. She will also be expected to contribute at first base this season, Felvus said.

Additional Warrior pitchers in the mix include senior Megan Davies?who Felvus said will also contribute at second base?sophomore Shyla Harris and freshman Shelby Felvus, who is expected to see time at shortstop.

Junior Sam Davies returns in a new position this season. After playing at third base a year ago, Davies will play catcher with the loss of Jay Dee Schafers to graduation. She will also be strong at the plate, Felvus said.

?(Sam) began working on catching last year just to add a second catcher, and she loved it,? Felvus said. ?She?s worked really hard to take that spot this year, and she?s looking really good.

?I think we?re going to see a lot of good things from her from behind the plate.?

Felvus also looks for positive things from returning sophomores Kroupa and Bailey Robson, both of whom saw time in the outfield.

?They were not only a big part of our outfield last season but also vital to our offense,? Felvus said. ?I expect continued success at the plate from these two.?

Additional players likely to impact the lineup include Reann Hamm (third base), Shayla Kline (left field), Elizabeth Meyer (designated player) and Sheridyn Arterburn (flex, right field).

Senior Cheyenne Jeffrey returns to the field after a two-year hiatus.

?She played softball her freshman year, and she?s back with us as a senior,? Felvus said. ?(I?m) excited about her coming back to the field and what she has to offer.?

Felvus said she looks forward to creating a lineup for the season.

?I?m excited to see what lineup we can put together,? she said. ?All the girls have good, solid contact and solid plate appearances.?

Regarding competitiveness in Heart of America league play, Felvus said: ?I expect this team to play at the top of its potential, and as long as that is the case, I have reason to believe we will be highly competitive in the league.?

Marion was scheduled to open its season at Herington Tuesday. The Warriors will host their first home game at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday against Hutchinson Trinity.

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