Wheaton softball fighting experience shortfall

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Lady Bulldogs aim to be most improved team this spring

The Wheaton softball team is looking to overcome inexperience and is aiming to be the most-improved ball club this spring overall.

Kaily Harvey, Lady Bulldogs softball coach, said the team is off to an 0-3 start, falling in all three contests in the Verona Tournament, and has missed a few other games due to rain. She said the team is excited to get more games in and gain some ground on the dirt.

“We have a fairly new set of girls that have not played softball before,” she said. “We are figuring out things like the fundamentals right now, and throughout the Verona Tournament, we continued to improve, so I am happy with that.”

Wheaton has only one returning starter in junior Lori McNeill, but the Lady Bulldogs do have five total seniors on the roster.

“Giovanna Hinojosa would have been a starter last year if we had a season,” Harvey said. “She is a senior and is pretty much our outfield leadership at center field. Lori is our catcher and leads the team with the most experience, also playing summer and travel ball.”

Harvey said as a team, the Lady Bulldogs are focused on the basics and improving in all areas, though some spots are surprisingly starting out well.

“We are working on hitting and bat speed to keep up with faster pitchers, and we are working on throwing,” she said. “Ground balls we have been pretty good at, especially with a totally new infield. We just have to get our throws more accurate and across the diamond, and our outfield is working on tracking balls off the bat.”

Wheaton is rounded out with two juniors, three sophomores and two freshmen, and Harvey said she is excited for the future.

“We have a few more coming up next year that should help us, and we are a high-spirited team that is very coachable,” she said. “I look forward to us being one of the most-improved teams by the end of the season.”

The Lady Bulldogs have only had one day of games this season, playing a tripleheader on March 20. They fell to Exeter 15-0, Galena 23-13 and Verona 5-2.

Wheaton played East Newton on Monday and Clever on Tuesday, with results not available at presstime.

The team travels to Washburn on Thursday to face Southwest at 4:30 p.m.

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