Logan Elm Braves Softball
Coach: Jeri Hartley
2022 record: 14-12, 8-6 third in Mid-State League Buckeye Division
Key returnees: Junior Lynsay VanHoose, shortstop; senior Meredith Jarvis, second base; junior Jacie Clifton, first base; junior Taylor Fowler, outfield; junior Tia Fowler, outfield; junior Kaitlyn Otterbacher, catcher
Key newcomers: Freshman Sadie Binkley, pitcher and outfield; freshman Ryleigh Wolfe, pitcher and third base; freshman Peyton Richendollar, pitcher and outfield
Key losses: Carly King, pitcher (honorable mention All-Ohio); Avree Entler, utility; Kylie Smith, outfield; Erin Gaskin, third base; Maraya Neff, outfield
Two-time all-district shortstop Lynsay VanHoose returns to lead the top of the Braves’ lineup. Senior second baseman Meredith Jarvis and junior first baseman Jacie Clifton should also figure prominently into the offense.
“Lynsay is a great leadoff hitter and the spark plug of our offense. She’s been our leading hitter since she was a freshman,” coach Jeri Hartley said. “Meredith Jarvis really put a lot of hard work in during the offseason and then we also have Jacie Clifton in the top third of our batting order. She’s another good hitter.
“From there, we will look to fill out the rest of our lineup with a combination of juniors and freshmen.”
Freshman Sadie Binkley, who plays her travel softball for the well-regarded Beverly Bandits, takes over duty in the circle for the Braves. She is one of the top pitching prospects in the state for her class.
“Sadie is a great competitor and a great teammate who looks to pick up her other teammates when they might need it. She’s already become a leader for us in the circle,” Hartley said. “Sadie does a nice job of mixing her pitches and hitting spots. She has a pretty good rise ball.
Ryleigh Wolfe and Peyton Richendollar could also work some innings for the Braves on doubleheader weekends.
How the Braves mix their juniors and freshmen will likely determine how much success the team can have, according to Hartley.
“We have Taylor and Tia Fowler back in the outfield, Kaitlyn Otterbacher behind the plate and then Sadie, Ryleigh and Peyton,” she said. “We need to be able to manufacture runs when we need to and then one area that’s a work in progress is our defense with having some girls in new positions combined with the weather and limited time out.
“We have a tough schedule during the first week of the season with Westfall, Zane Trace, Teays Valley and Unioto for a doubleheader, so we’ll see where we stand early and what we still need to work on to accomplish the goals that we have for the season.”