Greskiw prepared to start plethora of newcomers to complement strong core

A Catholic Central player slides into home safely in a scrimmage against Burlington in March. (Dwight Beuthling/SLN)

 

By Dana Ehrmann

Sports Correspondent

It’s springtime, so that means business as usual for the girls Catholic Central softball team.

Winning the Metro Classic Conference Championship has always been the goal, and for 16 out of the 22 years that Bill Greskiw has been head coach, the Lady Toppers have won or tied for it.

Along with assistant coaches Carol Robers and Tedd Shellberg, the crew will go after it again this year, not that it will be easy.

“Shoreland Lutheran is the defending conference champion and has most of their players back, including an excellent pitcher. We will need to get around them. Our pitching will give us that chance,” Greskiw said.

That pitching staff is led by senior Sydney Robson, who last season achieved an 8–6 win-loss record with a 2.48 ERA. She racked up 134 strikeouts compared to just 20 walks.

“She gives us a chance to win any game we play,” said the coach.

Robson, the team captain, also batted .561.

Sophomore Christina Paleka will also take to the circle, splitting her duties there and at shortstop. Last season, she went 4–1, collecting 35 strikeouts.

She batted .429 while reaching base over half of the time.

Sophomores Izzy Phillips (third base) and Anne Fabiani (catcher) are the other key Lady Topper returners.

“Half the team has a ton of experience. The other half is young,” said Greskiw.

He continued, “We may start six sophomores and freshmen. We have a lot of work to do in learning about each other and communicating with each other. We have some good pieces, now we need to formulate them into a team.”

As for newcomers, freshman Laine Dirksmeyer could make an immediate impact all across the field, able to play every position but catcher.

Sophomore Katie Goethal could fill the shoes of Haile Weis, last year’s graduating first baseman.

If they can shore up their outfield defense, the Toppers can build off last year’s record of 12–7 overall, and 10 – 2 in conference.

The season kicks off Thursday, April 5 with an away game versus Racine Lutheran.

The Lady Toppers will then play three more away games at Juda-Albany, Johnson Creek and Williams Bay before their home opener against Shoreland Lutheran on Tuesday, April 10.

 

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