Wauseon softball will look to build off the momentum of last year’s postseason success as they head into the 2022 season under new, but familiar leadership. Nick Lavinder takes over as head coach for Mark Schang.
He is inheriting a squad that went 19-9 last year, was 4-3 in the Northwest Ohio Athletic League, and won a Division II district championship.
“Promising season; many players trying several different positions, making every play count,” said Lavinder.
The top returnee for the Indians is Jayli Vasquez, who was honorable mention All-NWOAL a season ago. She held a .424 batting average in 2021 with 1 home run and 32 runs batted in.
Also returning are Autumn Pelok, back from injury; Olivia Gigax, .413 batting average with 4 home runs; Bri Hayes, .319 batting average, 22 RBIs; Ella Hageman; Madisyn Ledyard; and Ella Albright.
Newcomers for the Indians will be Ava Kovar, Danica Pack, Lola Lavinder and Grace Calvin.
“Working as a team, good team morale, coachable,” Coach Lavinder said of the Indians’ strengths this season.
Wauseon will be without last year’s primary pitcher, Macee Schang, who was first team all-league and all-district as a senior. Other departed letter winners include Chelsie Raabe, second team all-league and first team all-district; Payton Albright, first team all-league and second team all-district; Jettie Burget, honorable mention all-league; Alexis Haury, honorable mention all-league; and Kiara Stutzman.
“Young with only three seniors; not much experience,” said Lavinder of his team’s weaknesses for the season.
Wauseon finished third in the league in 2021. They will try for first this season, however, it won’t be easy.
“Bryan will be tough with (returning) NWOAL POY (Addison Arnold). Archbold is having a solid team. Every league game will count.”
The Indians open the season at Defiance at noon this Saturday.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010.