Last year it was about getting better. Moravia got better quickly, finishing with a 18-12 record that included a conference runner-up finish while advancing to the regional semifinals in Kevin Fritz first year as head coach. Now, the expectations rise.
“I’m very optimistic about this year’s squad,” Moravia head coach Kevin Fritz said. “We have two returning pitchers and a score of good hitters returning. Also, I’ve seen most of the new members coming onboard play and I feel they’ll be a great addition to our team.”
Jessica Self is the lone senior for the Lady Mohawks this year. Also returning will be junior Emilee Howard and sophomores Isabel Hanes, Callie Benjamin, Mikayla Fritz and Anaya Keith.
Self, a Cornell College signee, returns to bring pop in the lineup and experience in the circle. She hit .395 a year ago with a team-high three home runs to go with 27 RBIs. Look for her to be a reliable threat in the middle of the lineup.
Self will try to build off a solid year on the rubber where she owned an 8-5 record and a 3.52 ERA to go with 50 strikeouts against 14 walks in 59 2/3 innings.
Howard is back in centerfield for the Lady Mohawks after having a .316 batting average and 16 RBIs.
Hanes returns in the infield after enjoying a freshman campaign where she hit .385 with one home run and 18 RBIs.
Benjamin also returns as a fellow sophomore and will look to build off last year where she hit .275 with 17 RBIs.
Fritz is back behind the plate where she showcased a strong arm by throwing out four would-be base stealers. She showed some pop and speed with the bat, hitting two home runs with 17 RBIs and 12 stolen bases.
Keith will once again be a versatile player for Moravia this year. She is their best returning hitter after owning a .420 batting average with one home run and 21 RBIs. Keith will also be a main player in the circle after posting a 6-2 record with a 3.29 ERA and 31 strikeouts against eight walks in 44 2/3 innings.
Newcomers this year include junior Lexie McKim, sophomores Ronnie Cormeny and Elena Moreno with eighth graders Destiny Nathaniel, Kjirsten Albertson, Lauren Long and Neika Carranza.
Moravia came one game short of a conference title last year. With the change that everyone plays everyone in the conference twice, something all coaches have noted this year, that will add a lot more pressure into more games.
“As for the season, I think there is a little added pressure to perform since we’ll now have to play everyone in our conference twice. We have very few non-conference games,” Fritz said.
Moravia should be a great hitting team again this year with the return of six of their starters. Their pitching has less depth this year with the graduation of Emma McDanel but Self and Keith are both proven pitchers that should be able to carry the load as Moravia looks to build off of last year.
“I have high hopes for this season but my ultimate goal would be to see this team improve and grow more confident with every game they play,” Fritz said.
|5/20||vs EBF||8 p.m.|
|5/21||@ Diagonal||6 p.m.|
|5/23||vs Lamoni||8 p.m.|
|5/24||@ Melcher-Dallas||6 p.m.|
|5/28||vs Twin Cedars||8 p.m.|
|5/29||vs Grand View Christian||8 p.m.|
|5/30||vs Mormon Trail||8 p.m.|
|5/31||@ Murray Tournament||4 p.m.|
|6/1||@ Murray Tournament||9 a.m.|
|6/3||@ Central Decatur||5:30 p.m.|
|6/4||vs Murray||8 p.m.|
|6/6||@ Orient-Macksburg||6 p.m.|
|6/7||vs Seymour||8 p.m.|
|6/8||@ Montezuma Tournament||9 a.m.|
|6/11||vs Diagonal||8 p.m.|
|6/13||@ Lamoni||8 p.m.|
|6/14||vs Melcher-Dallas||8 p.m.|
|6/17||@ Southeast Warren (DH)||5:30 p.m.|
|6/18||@ Twin Cedars||6 p.m.|
|6/20||@ Mormon Trail||8 p.m.|
|6/21||vs Moulton-Udell (DH)||6 p.m.|
|6/22||vs BGM Brooklyn/Cardinal||10 a.m.|
|6/25||@ Murray||8 p.m.|
|6/27||vs Orient-Macksburg||8 p.m.|
|6/28||@ Seymour||6 p.m.|
|6/29||@ North Mahaska/Cardinal||9:30 a.m.|
*DH indicates doubleheader. Times are approximate.