Monday, February 12, 2018

Women's Softball: A look at the Prairie Stars

Last season, University of Illinois Springfield closed the regular season on an 11-0 win streak. The Stars went 0-2 at the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament. They finished 31-23 overall and 17-11 in the GLVC. The 31 wins was the third most in NCAA Division II history, five shy of the program-record 36 in 2012.

In the polls, the Stars are voted to finish seventh out of 15 team in the GLVC preseason coaches poll.

All-conference returners Junior pitcher Jaycee Craver and senior utility player Katie Wooldridge received all-GLVC honors last year. Craver was named to the second team. Wooldridge made the third team.

The top four in the Stars’ batting order are back: senior infielder/pitcher Ali Haesele, junior centerfielder Madi Torry, sophomore outfielder Lakyn Wagoner and junior first baseman/outfielder Morgan Edwards.

Edwards led the team with six home runs, had a .303 average and 31 RBIs. UIS fourth-year Shannon Nicholson Guthrie said, “We return a bunch a bats. Those are the top four that I see bringing the bulk of our power.”

The Stars have lots of experience in returning pitchers senior Rachel Goff, Haesele and Craver.
Guthrie said, “All of our predominant pitchers from last year came back, which is exciting. It is the first year since I’ve been here where we return our pitching staff like that. Our biggest depth is in the pitching circle and in the outfield. I think this is truly one of the most talented teams that we’ve had. It’s going to be a matter of putting it all together once you get out on the field.”

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on February 10, 2018.

Read the entire article online.