A look at La Porte Softball
Coach: Ryan Sosinski (2nd year)
Last year: 21-10 (6-8 Duneland Athletic Conference), (lost 3-2 in Class 4A South Bend Adams Sectional final to Penn)
Key returning players: CF/C/1B Emily Samuelson, Sr.; SS Sophie Sorg, So.; 3B Morgan Keen, Jr.; OF Shelby Linn, Jr.; P/2B Olivia Zarantonello, Jr.; 1B Megan Reed, Sr.; C Nola Hammerschmidt, Jr.; 1B Maddie Ponsier, Jr.
Key newcomers: P MaCayla Boone, So.; 2B/OF Peyton Harlow, Fr.
Key losses: P Avery Wolfenbarger, CF Emily Wilmsen, 1B Rylee Penziol.
Outlook: After coming painfully close to capturing the sectional last year, La Porte will aim to atone for that sectional final loss this season while having a quality overall campaign. It allowed three runs in the last at-bat in the top of the seventh inning to perennial power Penn for the sectional title, dropping a harrowing 3-2 decision. Despite that setback, Slicers coach Ryan Sosinski is optimistic in his squad heading into a new year. “We have to be extremely confident,” he said. “This team has a ton of talent and I think they proved last year they had a ton of talent. Now it’s just being confident. We’ve got to come in believing every game we can win. Believing in our skill. Just not take anybody for granted, but come in confident. That’s the big key.” Linn and Zarantonello are two major offensive threats that return, in addition to Reed. Samuelson is also a versatile player who’s solid in every area. The squad’s primary pitchers will be Zarantonello and Boone. “MaCayla is a really great pitcher,” Sosinski said. “Being able to use both of them is going to help us out a lot and really help us beat some of those really tough teams. They’re kind of different pitchers, too.” In 2018, La Porte tied the program record for wins in a season with 21 and came close to its first sectional crown in eight years. That’s given the team momentum for this campaign. “We’ve got a lot of returning experience, a lot of players that have a ton of varsity experience now,” Sosinski said. “We had a successful season last year, but we’re really looking to have an even more successful season this year. We’re looking to really improve upon that.”
-- compiled by Zack Eldridge