Optimist 2017-18 softball team preview


Calvin Prenkert, Staff Writer/Photographer

With professional baseball’s spring training in full swing, it’s time to preview the most heated rivalry game in Bloomington South recreational softball history. The hallowed Optimist vs. Gothic softball game, founded in 2008, will be celebrating a decade of existence of in late May, and the Optimist newspaper will look to gain its fifth consecutive win and 10th of all time. After last year’s historic 5-4 Optimist comeback win, it seems likely that Optimist will take home the golden typewriter because of its members’ rigorous training and its offseason acquisitions.

The Gothic roster took a large hit this off season, with over half the roster, including star pitcher Cameron McClaine and heavy hitter Robbie Gonyea, leaving the club. Gothic is also under new management under coach Juliana Crespo, marking their third coaching change in the last three years. Gothic’s top returnee will be sophomore Jack Lyles, who saw limited time on the field last year because of his young age, and captains Emily Long and Sarah Brown. Gothic is in full rebuild this season, calling up a large number of young prospects to give them experience needed for the future. Although free agency was light for the Yearbook team, their youth could push for a David vs. Goliath-esque win.

The Optimist organization has been in good spirits since a base hit from outfielder Cal Noriega in the final inning gave Mallorey Daunhauer the winning score and secured an improbable win. This miraculous late game rally has dominated the sports world this off season, and the game will likely go down as one of the greatest comebacks in sports history. Although several key members of last years team including Noriega, co-captain Anna Brown, pitcher Mari Walter-Bailey, second baseman Will Lundell and third baseman Eric Johnsen are gone, the off season pickups are sure to help fill the void left behind.

Optimist’s new signees include former/current baseball players Seth Thomas, Logan Hanchett, John Law, JT Kelly and superhuman athlete William “The Lebron James of Softball” Gibbons the Fourth. Those are just a few of the big names that have decided to bring their talents to the Optimist clubhouse in hopes of securing the golden typewriter for another year.

Leading the Optimist ball club this year is co-captain and star pitcher/closer Daunhauer and outfielders/co-captains Molly Wagschal and Elizabeth Rickert. Also returning to the dugout is the dinger trifecta of catcher Joseph Ermey, first baseman Ethan “The Enigma” Baer, and shortstop Calvin Prenkert. Back as player Coach in her 10th season is the YMCA’s best product, the Babe Ruth of backyard softball, the ageless Kathleen Mills. Optimist’s trusty outfield and batting corps will also aim to contribute big as they have in years past.

The big game is fast approaching, so get your fan gear and fill the stands to support to your favorite publication!


Optimist Roster:

Kathleen Mills (HC)

Elizabeth Rickert (C)

Mallorey Daunhauer (C)

Molly Wagschal (C)

Joesph Ermey

Ethan Baer

William Gibbons

Maddie Roberts

Taylor Harmon

JT Kelly

Katie Apple

Lexi Cornett

Jen Crystal

Iona Pfingston

Seth Thomas

Lilly Thomas

Calvin Prenkert

Logan Hanchett

John Law

Alex Christopher

Amanda Lewandowski