New Berlin Eisenhower
So far, the 2009 season looks much like the start of 2008, with the Lions idled by poor weather - but they are just hoping that this season also ends the way 2008 did.
Eisenhower missed three scheduled games last week and only one was rescheduled, a contest against St. Francis, which was to be played on April 7 - weather permitting, of course.
When the Lions finally do take the field, they will begin defense of their WIAA Division 2 state championship.
They have most of the pieces back, including the dominant pitching duo of seniors Lauren Beres and Kayla Schlegel, both members of the 2008 NOW All-Suburban team.
Beres went 9-1 last season with an 0.38 earned-run average, 122 strikeouts and just two walks, while Schlegel posted an 11-0 mark with an 0.75 ERA, 117 strikeouts and 24 walks.
Coach Jeff Setz plans to alternate them as he did last year. "We were happy with how that worked out," he said. "They both had great seasons."
The Lions also return senior outfielder Liz Wiese, a third All-Suburban choice who hit .439 last season, as well as junior catcher/outfielder Megan Duerlinger, senior shortstop Kelly Brubakken and others who played on the champion team.
"We've got kids who have been on the varsity two or three years," Setz said. "They've been successful in the league and in the tournament and they are a confident group."
Setz knows, though, that the Lions will not sneak up on anybody. "We have that target on our backs," he admitted. "People will be shooting for us. I think these kids can handle that pressure. We're looking forward to another great year."
New Berlin West
The Vikings will be young this season, but coach Corey Scheel thinks they have plenty of potential.
"These kids are coachable and they want to learn," he said.
West must overcome the loss of five seniors, including Brittany Klug, a 2008 NOW All-Suburban choice and the Woodland Conference North Division player of the year.
Scheel will have a whole new, all-underclassman infield of junior first baseman Emelia Roso, freshman second baseman Gina Showers, freshman third baseman Moira Collins, sophomore shortstop Hailey Kunz and sophomore catcher Eddye Tyler.
Among the returnees are senior catcher Ashley Nealon and junior outfielder Deidre Parlier.
Scheel will have the luxury of two pitchers this season, the sister act of senior Liz Radtke and sophomore Martha Radtke. "We can switch them each day, like Ike does," he said. "That will keep them fresher."
West did not play last week due to inclement weather. An April 2 contest against Greenfield will be played at 4 p.m. today, April 9, at Konkel Park. The March 31 game against Whitnall was reset for Wednesday, April 22, and the April 3 game against St. Thomas More was rescheduled for Monday, April 27.
Before the first game was even played, the Warriors sustained a major setback this season.
Senior Christy Hudziak, who is expected to be the team's top pitcher, went down with a broken thumb, and the date of her return is uncertain.
This means sophomore Ashley Gnacinski, the No. 2 pitcher last season, will assume the role of staff ace until Hudziak returns.
Muskego does return a solid group of veterans in senior second baseman Noelle Fritz, senior shortstop Nikki Guhr, senior center fielder Shelly Adamczyk, senior right fielder Lauren Roelke and junior first baseman Allie Mayer.
Promising newcomers include sophomore catcher Megan Henneberry and senior triplets Abby Peroceschi (catcher), Amber Peroceschi (third baseman) and Ashley Peroceschi (left fielder).
Both of last week's games were postponed. The March 30 contest at Brookfield East will be part of a doubleheader Wednesday, May 13, and the March 31 game at Burlington will be played Monday, April 27.
The Warriors will be idle until Tuesday, April 21, when they visit 2008 WIAA state qualifier Oak Creek.
- John Rech, Staff Writer
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