Photo by Bill Roseberry
Posed from left to right are the seniors on the Alton High softball team in 2016: Alicia Goewey, Brittany Roady and Katelyn Presley.
Alton softball coach Dan Carter has conflicting expectations for his Redbird squad in 2016.
On one hand, the Birds return everyone from a 20-15 team that played for a regional championship, falling short against powerhouse Edwardsville. On the other hand, he worries that complacency may set in with the lineup remaining much the same.
“We have everybody back and that's a good thing and a bad thing,” Carter, entering his 17th season at the helm of the Redbird softball program, said. “The good thing is we've got everybody back so we're not trying to fill holes, but on the other hand we had to start from Day 1 pushing them a little bit. I didn't want them to feel comfortable that because they started last year that spot was there's. This year we're looking to move girls around and looking to improve from last year. I don't want to be content on what we put out there last year.”
First off Alton returns its pitcher in senior Brittany Roady. Roady went 16-13 a year ago with a 3.08 ERA in 184.1 innings pitched. She fanned 175 batters and walked just 40 over those innings worked.
“She was our ace last year and if she stays healthy she's going to be one of the best in the area again,” Carter said. “She's gotten a little bigger, a little stronger like you would hope a junior does going into her senior year.”
Roady is joined by two other seniors, Katelyn Presley and Alicia Goewey. Presely plugs in as the starting third baseman and secondary catcher, while Goewey will hold down right field.
Roady and Presley are both committed to Lincoln Land Community College to continue their softball careers. Goewey looks to join the military after high school.
Presley led the Redbirds in '15 with 29 stolen bases while batting .374, good for second on the team.
Pacing the offense will be junior shortstop Savannah Fisher. Fisher was first team All-Southwestern Conference as a sophomore as well as third-team all-state.
She won the triple crown out of the AHS offense, leading in batting average (.429), home runs (5) and RBIs (39). She also tied with Bronte Fencel for the team-high in doubles with 9 and led in triples with 4.
“Savannah Fisher does a great job for us as team leader ability wise,” Carter said. “She's going to be the backbone of our defense there at shortstop and she'll see some innings pitching.”
Sophomore catcher Miranda Hudson should be a key cog for the Birds, too. Hudson hit .360 with 3 homers and 33 RBIs as a freshman.
Around the horn, Carter also expects big things from juniors, Tomi Dublo (2B), Bronte Fencel (CF) and Sydney Hartman (OF, P) as well as sophomores, Taylor Herrin (2B, OF), Shannon Jackson (OF, C), Rachel McCoy (1B) and freshman Tami Wong (OF, 3B, C).
“We're going to plug (Wong) in different spots,” Carter said. “She might be one of the few freshmen that gets a lot of innings for us compared to a few others that might nickel and dime their way in there.”
The SWC will pose another tough challenge, but Carter hopes to climb the ladder. Annual powerhouses Edwardsville and Belleville East graduated players, but both should be battling for the top again.
“Inside the conference it's going to be tough,” Carter said. “Even though Edwardsville graduated their pitcher (Kallen Loveless), they're still Edwardsville. Until someone knocks them off they're at the top of the heap. Belleville East and West are going to be tough, Collinsville was upcoming last year, Granite City had a freshman pitcher who threw really well. I'd be shocked if anyone wins this conference undefeated. I think someone could win it with two or three losses.
“I'd like think we'll move up a little bit, but we have to go out and prove it.”
Alton opens the season at 11 a.m. Saturday at Greenfield.
Alicia Goewey OF
Katelyn Presley 3B, C
Brittany Roady P, 1B
Tomi Dublo 2B, OF
Bronte Fencel OF
Savannah Fisher SS, P
Mikinna Hall OF, IF
Sydney Hartman OF, P
Taylor Herrin 2B, OF
Miranda Hudson C, SS
Shannon Jackson OF, C
Rachael McCoy 1B
Tami Wong OF, 3B
March 19 — at Greenfield, 11 a.m.
March 21 — vs. Quincy, 4 p.m.
March 22 — at EA-WR, 4 p.m.
March 23 — at Bunker Hill, 4:15 p.m.
March 26 — at Jersey, 10 a.m.
March 28 — vs. Roxana, 10 a.m.
March 29 — vs. O'Fallon*, 4:30 p.m.
March 31 — at Belleville East*, 4:30 p.m.
April 5 — vs. Edwardsville*, 4:30 p.m.
April 6 — at Highland, 4:15 p.m.
April 7 — vs. Granite City*, 4:30 p.m.
April 11 — vs. Brussels, 4:30 p.m.
April 12 — at Collinsville*, 4:30 p.m.
April 14 — vs. Belleville West*, 4:30 p.m.
April 16 — at Jersey Cluster (Jersey, Brussels), 10 a.m.
April 18 — at Calhoun, 4:30 p.m.
April 19 — at East St. Louis*, 4:30 p.m.
April 20 — vs. Cahokia, 4:30 p.m.
April 22 — vs. Civic Memorial, 4:30 p.m.
April 26 — vs. Belleville East*, 4:30 p.m.
April 27 — vs. Metro East Lutheran, 4:30 p.m.
April 28 — at O'Fallon*, 4:30 p.m.
April 30 — vs. Alton Invitational, 10 a.m.
May 3 — at Granite City*, 4:30 p.m.
May 5 — at Edwardsville*, 4:30 p.m.
May 6 — vs. EA-WR (at Redbird Round Robin Tournament), 4:30 p.m.
May 7 — vs. Redbird Round Robin Tournament, 10 a.m.
May 10 — at Belleville West*, 4:30 p.m.
May 12 — vs. Collinsville*, 4:30 p.m.
May 14 — vs. Alton Cluster (Carrollton, Southwestern), 10 a.m.
May 17 — vs. East St. Louis*, 4:30 p.m.
May 20 — vs. Triad, 4:30 p.m.