Photo by Bill Roseberry
Pictured (from left) are Cassie Albers, Kelsey Deatonand Chloe Jennings, the senior members of the 2015 Civic Memorial Eagles softball program.
Things are looking up for the Civic Memorial High softball team. Take it from longtime coach Mike Eddy.
“I expect to compete in every game and always look to win the Mississippi Valley Conference and a regional,” said Eddy, starting his 13th season in guiding the Eagles.
After a string of success, including a 30-7 record and a fourth-place finish in the 2011 IHSA Class 3A finals, CM slumped to an uncharacteristic 8-24 last spring. The Eagles enjoyed 10 consecutive winning seasons from 2003-12.
“I look forward to a successful season with a good team of hard workers that will get the job done,” Eddy said. “It will be fun.”
Senior outfielder Chloe Jennings could supply the Eagles with the most enjoyment. She batted .477 last season and should be one of the area’s top hitters. Jennings collected 42 hits, including 17 extra base hits, five of them home runs. Jennings also drove in 18 runs.
Senior infielder Cassie Albers and catcher Kelsey Deaton also should make a major impact on the Eagles’ season. Albers hit .284 last season and Deaton batted .280.
“Our seniors will spearhead us,” Eddy said. “We will be strong up the middle defensively and solid in the middle of our lineup.”
Junior pitcher Shelby Whaley, who was 6-17 last year, figures to make major advances this season. “We’re handing the ball to a stronger and better Shelby, which should improve our chances to win immediately,” Eddy said.
He pointed out that it will take a collective effort for improvement.
“As you know, we must field and hit to complete the job,” he added. “Bringing back some seasoned players will get the job done.”
Juniors Katleyn Turbyfill, Baylee Hampton, Kalyn Haar and Kylie Linkeman add to the blend. Linkeman, an infielder-outfielder, batted .375 last season. Turbyfill and Haar are infielders and Hampton is an outfielder. Turbyfill batted .253 and drove in 10 runs last season.
“They will contribute each game with their experience,” Eddy said.
Freshman infielder-outfielder Susan Buchanan expects to be another contributor.
“She will be in the mix and I look forward to her progress throughout the year,” Eddy said.
Junior infielder Emily Lackey, sophomores Savannah Graham and Kara Vetter, plus a promising group of freshmen, intend to provide needed depth.
“It should be a competitive conference,” Eddy said of the six-team Valley that Triad won in 2014. “It also should be a competitive conference tournament – with Marquette also competing in it – for a regional championship.”
CM is scheduled to open its season March 20 at Bunker Hill. The Eagles are also at Collinsville (March 23) and Waterloo Gibault (March 24) prior to entertaining Roxana (March 26) in its home opener.
They begin their 10-game MVC slate against Jersey (April 13) in Bethalto. Other nonconference games on their schedule include: Belleville Althoff, Belleville East, Litchfield, Granite City, Marquette, Gillespie, Cahokia, O’Fallon, Southwestern, East Alton-Wood River, Alton, Edwardsville, Belleville West, Staunton, Carrollton, Freeburg and Columbia.
Coach: Mike Eddy
Record last season: 8-24
Career record at school: 213-162 in 12 years
Jennings returns to steer the offense for the Eagles as a senior after hitting a team-best .477 with five round-trippers and 18 RBIs in 2014. An outfielder, Jennings has signed to play at Missouri Baptist after high school.
Whaley, a junior for CM, returns in the circle after starting 22 games in 2014. Whaley tossed 17 complete games and 150.3 innings. She’s looking to build on her 6-17 record from a year ago.
Cassie Albers, infielder
Kelsey Deaton, catcher
Chloe Jennings, outfielder
Kalyn Haar, infielder
Baylee Hampton, outfielder
Emily Lackey, infielder
Kylie Linkeman, infielder/outfielder
Katelyn Turbyfill, infielder
Shelby Whaley, pitcher
Savannah Graham, outfielder
Kara Vetter, infielder
Ryan Allison, pitcher/infielder
Cori Beckham, pitcher/outfielder
Susan Buchanan, infielder/outfielder
Autumn Garner, infielder/outfielder
Sierra Nolte, infielder
Cassie Reed, catcher/outfielder
Isabelle Roberts, infielder/outfielder
March 20 – at Bunker Hill, 4:15 p.m.
March 23 – at Collinsville, 4:15 p.m.
March 24 – at Waterloo Gibault, 4:15 p.m.
March 26 – vs. Roxana, 4:15 p.m.
March 27 – at Belleville Althoff, 4:15 p.m.
March 30 – vs. Belleville East, 4:15 p.m.
March 31 – vs. Litchfield, 4:15 p.m.
April 1 – vs. Granite City, 4:15 p.m.
April 2 – vs. Marquette, 4:15 p.m.
April 4 – at Gillespie (DH), 10 a.m.
April 6 – at Cahokia, 4:15 p.m.
April 8 – vs. O’Fallon, 4:15 p.m.
April 13 – vs. Jersey*, 4:15 p.m.
April 14 – at Southwestern, 4:15 p.m.
April 15 – at Highland*, 4:15 p.m.
April 20 – vs. Waterloo*, 4:15 p.m.
April 21 – vs. EA-WR, 4:15 p.m.
April 22 – at Triad*, 4:15 p.m.
April 24 – vs. Alton, 4:15 p.m.
April 27 – vs. Mascoutah*, 4:15 p.m.
April 29 – at Jersey*, 4:15 p.m.
May 1 – at Edwardsville, 4:15 p.m.
May 2 – vs. Belleville West (DH), 10 a.m.
May 4 – vs. Highland*, 4:15 p.m.
May 6 – at Waterloo*, 4:15 p.m.
May 8 – vs. Staunton, 4:15 p.m.
May 11 – vs. Triad*, 4:15 p.m.
May 13 – at Mascoutah*, 4:15 p.m.
May 14 – vs. Carrollton, 4:30 p.m.
May 18 – at Freeburg, 4:30 p.m.
May 19 – vs. Columbia, 4:30 p.m.
*Denotes conference games