Strength in Numbers as Challengers Prepare for Softball Season

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By Robert Fenbers

The women’s softball team feels like they can compete with anyone this upcoming season, they might be right.

During the offseason the ladies are focusing on toning their skills and preparing for the grind and tear of the season, something they have admitted they didn’t take very seriously last year. “They felt that they were stronger than they were and that they didn’t need to work hard,” said Coach Bryan Komlos. He is going into his sixth season as the head coach for the Challengers. “These are hardworking girls that can compete with any Division 2 team,” says Komlos.

The Ladies are coming off a strong outing last season with a 21-17 record and a trip to the regional final. Though they were successful, they know they could have done better. Sophomore, Catcher/Third baseman Mary Gorski thought the team came out strong but waned towards the end of the season. “We lost the cooperation and team work towards the end of the season but, I think this year it will be better,” said Gorski.

A large part of their strong outing was the sensational play from Aubrey Szalay. She didn’t just break the Tri- C record books last year, she shattered them. Setting the record for Most Hits, Most Doubles, Most Home Runs, RBI’S and On Base Percentage. After her record setting season she is now setting her sights on possibly joining Division 1 Lamar University.

She, along with a number of other girls, have moved on, leaving the Challengers with a total of five returning players.  Jennifer Pierce, Mary Gorski, Paige Lucas, Kahla Von Bergman and Abigail Knechtel will look to lend their experience and expertise to their teammates this season

Players to Watch

P/CF Emily Mystic- Emily is beginning her first season as a Challenger and has been named a team captain. “I feel honored that I got that title and my teammates nominated me,” she said.  

C Mary Gorski- As team captain Mary is returning for her 2nd year as a Challenger, she will look to build off last season’s success including her 11 stolen bases and 25 RBI’s.

LF Paige Lucas- “Tink” as they call her returns for her 2nd year as a Challenger. Her nickname comes from her resemblance to the character Tinkerbell. Tink had 41 hits last season including 11 doubles.

During this offseason these ladies have put many long hours into improving their game. They are dedicated to getting back to regionals and finishing the job.

All five returning players (pictured above) hope to lead the Challengers back to regionals this season. Photo by Robert Fenbers
All five returning players (pictured above) hope to lead the Challengers back to regionals this season. Photo by Robert Fenbers
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