The Evergreen softball team has enough returning talent to compete under new coach Andy Langenderfer.
“As a team, we are looking to perform well against a tough non-league schedule and continue to improve,” said Langenderfer. “We have a lot of players returning from last year and we hope that our combination of youth and experience will carry us where we want to go.”
The most notable returnee for the Vikings is Jamie VanLoocke, who was first team All-Northwest Ohio Athletic League a year ago. She is back after posting a .365 batting average last season.
Other returning all-league performers are Andrea Smithmyer and Courtney Couts, both of whom were second team All-NWOAL last season, and Kelsie Komisarek who was honorable mention.
Smithmyer hit .410 in 2017, while Komisarek held a .296 batting average. As a pitcher, Couts recorded 77 strikeouts.
“Experience and depth. We return 10 letter winners,” said Langenderfer on the strengths of his team.
However, he notes their biggest weakness being the departure of Megan Simon, who was first team All-NWOAL and second team all-district.
“It’s always difficult to replace a player like Megan Simon at the top of any lineup,” said the Viking coach.
The Vikings will also have to replace Mikayla Ball (honorable mention All-NWOAL), Kelly Condon, and Heidi Fritsch.
“We hope that we can compete and finish well in a very competitive league,” said Langenderfer on the NWOAL race.
Evergreen opens the season with a doubleheader at home versus Northwood Saturday.