By Staff

            MOUNDRIDGE – Finishing 2022 just one game and two runs short of a trip to the Class 2A state tournament, the Moundridge softball program looks toward high numbers and a solid mixture of seniors and freshmen to come together enough to make that next step forward in 2023 and qualify for a trip to the state tournament.

            Beginning just his second season at the helm of the Lady Wildcat softball program, Lynn Eichelberger along with second-year assistant Jennifer Suarez are looking to take the next step in 2023 after guiding the team to a 17-5 overall mark in 2022 that included a 12-4 record and second-place finish in the Heart of America League as well as getting to their Class 2A regional finals before losing 1-0 to Bluestem.

            One thing the team will need to do is replace graduates Kate Eichelberger, Emma Blough, and Lizzie Kliewer. All of whom will create holes in the lineup to fill.

            “Losing our seniors from 2022 will create holes in our team,” explained coach Eichelberger. “We need to find some inexperienced players to fill their shoes. Last season was a learning experience for myself as I was going from the assistant to head coach which had its ups and downs. We tried some new things and I think the girls responded very well, look we had some success last season making it to our reginal final.”

            What Eichelberger will have is senior leadership in 2023 as seven of nine starters return in pitcher/third baseman Emily Durst, catcher/shortstop Kindall Elmore, catcher/infielder Addy Falco, infielder Hannah Schrag, and outfielders Aubree Durst, Reese Schmidt, and Maggy Adolf.

            Three other Lady Wildcats also come back with some varsity experience including senior outfielders Avery Rice and Vianca San Miguel plus junior outfielder/catcher Macie Woltje.

            Several returning Lady Wildcats earned post-season recognition in 2022 including Aubree Durst as first-team All-League, while Kindall Elmore, Addy Falco, and Reese Schmidt all made second-team All-League and Emily Durst gained honorable mention as an infielder.

            Speaking of the returnees, coach Eichelberger noted, “Emily (Durst) pitched a lot of innings and pitched well last season so we are hoping she can continue that success. Early on, Emily may have to pitch both games of a doubleheader until the younger pitchers get caught up to speed. Both our catchers, Kindall (Elmore) and Addy (Falco) are returning which is a hug relief. We need a new first baseman while Hannah (Schrag) returns at second base while the left side of the infield will be a carousel determined by who is or is not pitching. All three of our starting outfielders return with Aubree (Durst) in center, Reese (Schmidt) in left, and Maggy (Adolf) in right.”

            The Lady Wildcat coaches are excited with the number of freshmen giving reasons to fill holes on the varsity including as eight have caught the eyes of the coaches, including Infielders Macy Kaminkow, MacKenlee Soden, and Savannah Schmidt, infielder/catcher Sam Strausz, outfielder Maddie Doherty, utility player Lakyn Allenbach and pitcher/infielders Lela Winsor and Addy Patrick.

             Talking about the youngsters and schedule, coach Eichelberger said, “The batting order has a few gaps in it to fill and some younger players will have to fill the void but I am confident that they can. Our opponents this year are the same as last season with Ell-Saline, Marion, and Sedgwick always being tough teams to play and then we have a non-conference doubleheader with Canton/Galva that add another quality opponent to the mix.”

            Finished up her pre-season reflections, Eichelberger added, “We have nineteen players signed up to play this season so my assistant, Jennifer Suarez, is going to be busy with multiple junior varsity games as well as assisting me with the varsity. She is going to be vital for our team’s success.”

            The 2023 Lady Wildcat softball program will make their season debut on Friday, March 31 when they play host to county rival Inman followed by another home doubleheader on Thursday, April 6 with Remington.

(The Staff covering events for the MAC AREA SPORTS NEW can be reached by email at