Photo by Bill Roseberry
Pictured are the senior members of the Civic Memorial softball team. From left to right are: Katelyn Turbyfill, Shelby Whaley, Alex Feeney, Kalyn Haar and Emily Lackey.
There’s a simple strategy for the Civic Memorial Eagles this season. It’s called improvement.
The Eagles want to get better and soothe the sting of their uncharacteristic 7-20 season last spring. Just five years ago, they compiled a 30-7 record and finished fourth at the Class 3A state tournament.
“We believe that our program can compete every night against our competition,” said 14th-year head coach Mike Eddy, sporting a 220-182 record at the school. “I’d like to see us contend for the Mississippi Valley Conference championship, and a regional title, but a lot of things have to fall into place for us to do that.”
CM, which was scheduled to open its season Monday at home against Edwardsville, first needs to get its pitching in order according to Eddy. It might be more a matter of developing young arms.
Senior Shelby Whaley, a three-year starter in the circle, likely won’t pitch. She underwent right shoulder surgery last fall and appears destined to play second base instead of hurling. Whaley was 6-8 with a 4.66 ERA in 16 games a year ago.
“I don’t think she is going to be able to pitch for us,” Eddy said. “She could have been a good one this season.”
Instead, sophomore Ryan Allison and freshman Kaitlynn Wrenn expect to share pitching duties. Allison worked in 16 games last season. Wrenn has ample potential, Eddy said.
“Overall, we have a good group of seniors that can lead the team and some young players that can play at the varsity level,” Eddy said.
He will have a tough time replacing graduated outfielder Chloe Jennings, now at Missouri Baptist University in Creve Coeur, Mo. The dynamic left-handed hitting Jennings batted .489 with 6 home runs and 21 RBIs. She also had 13 doubles.
“Chloe was a great leadoff hitter and she is definitely irreplaceable,” Eddy said. “We don’t have somebody else like that.”
Yet the Eagles do have some key returning players, notably shortstop Katelyn Turbyfill, also a mainstay on CM’s successful basketball team. Turbyfill hit .381 — second to Jennings — last season. She had 3 home runs and 12 RBIs.
“Katelyn is one of our best hitters, best defenders and a leader,” Eddy said. “She will probably hit third in our lineup.”
Kalyn Haar, another senior, will work at first base. She hit .280 with 5 RBIs last season. Whaley is cast at second base while junior Jenna Parmentier, a transfer from Staunton and daughter of new head football coach Mike Parmentier, will take over at third base.
“Jenna could give us the left-handed power that we need,” said Eddy, who can envision Parmentier hitting in front of Turbyfill.
Freshman Kaylee Klaustermeier, sophomore Susan Buchanan and sophomore Isabella Roberts could fill the outfield slots. Buchanan played third base last season. Sophomore Cassie Reed is CM’s catcher.
Senior outfielder Alex Feeney and senior infielder Emily Lackey also figure in the mix. So do junior infielder-outfielder Kara Vetter, sophomore infielder-outfielder Sierra Nolte and freshmen Sidney Skaggs, Bristol Dahlen and Trinity Eller.
Eddy sees another big battle shaping up in the six-team Valley.
“Highland has some good players coming back, Triad is reloading and Waterloo should be good,” he said.
“The conference is loaded.”
The Eagles could be in the thick of things if their young pitching blooms, Eddy said.
“We will be going with a sophomore and a freshman, and we’ll need them to pitch successfully at the varsity level,” he said.
Eddy may find out quickly. CM’s first five games are at home before the Eagles go to Roxana on March 24. They open conference play April 11 at home against Mascoutah.
Alex Feeney OF
Shelby Whaley 2B, P
Kalyn Haar 1B
Kaitlyn Turbyfill SS, 3B
Emily Lackey 3B
Kara Vetter 2B, OF
Jenna Parmentier 3B, 2B
Cassie Reed C
Susan Buchanan OF
Ryan Allison P, OF
Isabella Roberts 2B, OF
Sierra Nolte 2B, OF
Kaylee Klaustermeier 3B, OF
Sidney Skaggs OF
Kaitlyn Wrenn P, OF
Bristol Dahlen C, OF
Trinity Eller OF
March 18 — vs. Bunker Hill, 4:15 p.m.
March 21 — vs. Collinsville, 4:15 p.m.
March 22 — vs. Gibault, 4:15 p.m.
March 24 — at Roxana, 4 p.m.
March 28 — at Belleville East, 4:15 p.m.
March 29 — at Litchfield, 4:15 p.m.
March 30 — at Granite City, 4:15 p.m.
April 4 — vs. Cahokia, 4:15 p.m.
April 6 — at O’Fallon, 4:15 p.m.
April 11 — vs. Mascoutah*, 4:15 p.m.
April 12 — vs. Southwestern, 4:15 p.m.
April 13 — at Jersey*, 4:30 p.m.
April 18 — vs. Highland*, 4:15 p.m.
April 19 — at EA-WR, 4 p.m.
April 20 — at Waterloo*, 4:15 p.m.
April 22 — at Alton, 4:30 p.m.
April 25 — Triad*, 4:30 p.m.
April 27 — at Mascoutah*, 4:15 p.m.
April 30 — at Belleville West (DH), 10 a.m.
May 2 — vs. Jersey*, 4:15 p.m.
May 4 — at Highland*, 4:15 p.m.
May 6 — at Staunton, 4:30 p.m.
May 9 — vs. Waterloo*, 4:15 p.m.
May 11 — at Triad*, 4:15 p.m.
May 12 — at Carrollton, 4:30 p.m.
May 13 — at Gillespie, 4:15 p.m.
May 16 — vs. Freeburg, 4:15 p.m.
May 17 — at Columbia, 4:15 p.m.
*Denotes conference games