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2018 CCA softball preview

Still young, but more experienced

OXFORD– Last year the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) varsity girls softball team faced two challenges. First, Matt Trosky took the helm of the program in the wake of the departure of Barb Lynn after three seasons. Lynn returned to coaching the Iowa City West High varsity this year. And second, they were a young team with only two seniors (Claire Navara and Abbi Kinnaird), and a freshman (Raina Henze) and eighth grader (Peyton Graft) pitching. The Creek Girls finished the season at 14-26.
This year, Trosky said most of the returning girls started roughly 20 games and gained much in the way of experience.
“We still have a young team,” Trosky said, “But the girls are competitive and work hard. We have to shore up things that were glaring errors from last year, and we believe our girls have put in the work to do that.”
One senior is on the squad this year: Danielle Wnek, an infielder. Wnek produced 21 hits in 95 at bats for a .221 batting average with two doubles. She drove in 20 runs and scored a dozen times. “She is someone who has been steady for us this offseason and has done a great job of adding to her leadership role,” Trosky said. Two juniors, Lydia Banwart (catcher) and Katie Pitlick (first baseman/designated player) are back in the starting lineup. Banwart hit with a .209 average last year, knocking 19 hits in 91 appearances at the plate. She scored one run, drove in three and hit four doubles while Pitlick had a .238 average with 20 hits in 84 at bats. She scored 13 runs, drove in 13 more and hit three doubles.
Three sophomores bring WaMaC Conference honors with them from last season. Karsyn Stratton, a shortstop, earned 1st Team All-WaMaC honors last year as well as all-district recognition. Stratton had a .410 batting average with 34 hits in 83 plate appearances. She scored 26 runs, had 17 RBI, 10 doubles and seven home runs. Ainsley Schrock was a Second Team All-WaMaC pick as a catcher/designated player/first baseman with a .411 average. Schrock produced 53 hits in 129 at-bats and smacked 11 homers. She had 44 RBI and scored 25 runs. Henze earned All-WaMaC Honorable Mention with a 7-12 record and 119-2/3 innings in the circle. She had an ERA of 3.57, gave up 61 earned runs and produced 52 strikeouts. Henze hit with a .167 average in 18 at bats where she knocked three hits including two doubles.
Freshman Peyton Grafft will share the pitching duties with Henze again this year. She produced a 6-8 record through 87 innings where she struck out 14 and gave up 74 earned runs for a 5.95 ERA. Grafft made 11 appearances at the plate with one hit and three runs to her credit.
Abby Crow and Anna Fox, both juniors and both utility players, return to the lineup as well this season. Crow had a .177 batting average with 79 at bats, 14 hits, eight RBI, two doubles and 14 runs. Fox produced 21 hits with a .214 average over 98 plate appearances. She scored 22 runs, had eight RBI and four doubles.
A pair of freshmen, Grace and Gabbi Bedford, joins the squad. Grace is an outfielder and pitcher while Gabbi is a utility player.
As always, Trosky said, “Benton (Community) will be tough to beat.” The Bobcats put up a 32-6 record last year. “Independence (26-14) and Center Point-Urbana (CPU, 31-11) are right up there again, and Williamsburg is a tough rival opponent.”
The Stormin’ Pointers were knocked out of the state tournament in the Class 3A semifinals by Davenport Assumption. “We believe we can be in the mix,” Trosky said. “Our girls know that we have high expectations and are ready to get rolling.”
Blake Wilson, Earl Berg, Eden Campbell, Jamie Henze and Maddy Beckler will assist Trosky this season.
The Creek Girls open 2018 at home on Wednesday, May 23, as Beckman Catholic visits for a doubleheader starting at 6 p.m.