Vikings hope to cut down on errors, continue strong hitting, pitching
JANESVILLE Janesville high school softball will have a new home this season, and Janesville Parker coach Jenni Seisser hopes the move coincides with a new era for the program.
Parker and Janesville Craig have always played home games at Dawson Ball Field, but will move to the permanent home at the Youth Sports Complex on Wuthering Hills Drive this season.
The Vikings were 4-18 overall last season, including 3-15 in the Big Eight Conference, but Seisser is optimistic heading into Wednesday’s nonconference season-opener at Hononegah (Ill.).
“We lost several games last season by one or two runs because we committed too many errors,” Seisser said. “If we continue hitting the ball like we are in the preseason, and reduce our errors, we should have no problem finishing higher in the conference.”
Parker has six letterwinners on the roster, including three players who were All-Big Eight honorable mention a year ago.
Heading the list is Ashley Ross. The junior pitched 92 innings last season, striking out 82 and finishing with a 2.05 ERA. Ross threw well but was victimized time and again by the Vikings’ porous defense. Parker finished last season with a whopping 83 errors in 22 games.
As the Most Valuable Player on the team, Ross led Parker with a .379 batting average and 14 RBIs.
Seniors Jacque Ludois and Cierra Carney also return for the Vikings, and both were honorable mention All-Big Eight last season. Ludois will likely start in leftfield, while Carney is slated to start at second.
“I’m confident that our three seniors (Ludois, Carney and Lindsey Clauer) will provide the leadership we need to help the younger players make the transition to varsity,” Seisser said.
Clauer will get the starting nod in right, while junior Natalie McDonald will start at shortstop.
The other returning starter is sophomore catcher Jensen Henke.
“Overall, our hitting and team unity seems more solid than what we had the past two seasons,” Seisser said. “”The newer players have all come off a successful junior varsity season and should transition smoothly based on what they’ve shown at practice.”
(All home games at the Youth Sports Complex)
March: 30—At Hononegah (Ill.), 4:30.
April: 2—Milton and Fort Atkinson, 10 a.m. and noon; 5—At Madison East, 4:30; 7—Madison West, 4:30; 11—At Verona, 5; 13—Sun Prairie, 4:30; 15—At Janesville Craig, 4:30; 19—Madison La Follette, 4:30; 21—At Madison Memorial, 5; 23—Middleton (DH), 10 a.m.; 26—Beloit Memorial, 4:30 p.m.; 28—Madison East, 4:30.
May: 3—At Madison West, 5; 6—Verona, 4:30; 10—At Sun Prairie, 5; 13—Janesville Craig, 4:30; 17—At Madison La Follette, 4; 19—Madison Memorial, 4:30; 20—Orfordville Parkview, 4:30; 24—At Beloit Memorial, 4:30.