Aces are ready to hit

Amanda-Clearcreek Aces Softball
Ben Hedrick
2022 record: 7-15, 2-12 seventh in Mid-State League Buckeye Division
Key returnees: Megan Tooill, third base; Carly Singleton, shortstop; Faith Jewell, left field; Hailey Sowers, center field and shortstop; Haley Robinson, catcher; Hannah Bryan, pitcher; Alyson Colliton, pitcher
Key newcomers: Cassidy Steinmetz, pitcher; Alex Martin, outfield; Averie Hutchinson, second base; Braeleigh Blosser, first base

With the return of senior third baseman Megan Tooill, a first-team all-league selection, and shortstop Carly Singleton, a second-team all-league honoree, to lead the way, coach Ben Hedrick is optimistic about the offensive potential of the Aces.

“We have a few girls like Hailey Sowers and Faith Jewell who are pretty fast and can use their athleticism and then we have some nice sticks with Megan Tooill, Carly Singleton, Haley Robinson and some of our kids who can hit line drives and bring some pop to the lineup,” he said. “Overall, I think our lineup should hit pretty consistently and hit the ball hard.

“We should be able to score some runs, but we also know there are games where we will have to play some little ball and move runners when you face some of the top pitchers in our league.”

Freshman Cassidy Steinmetz, a transfer from Logan Elm, should anchor a pitching staff that will also include Hannah Bryan and Alyson Colliton.

“Cassidy is a pretty athletic kid and her build reminds me of Paige Alford,” Hedrick said. “She throws the ball consistently, with good movement and does a nice job of mixing her pitches.

“I like what we’ve seen early on from Cassidy, and we’ll do everything we can to help her make the jump to varsity softball.”

Hedrick knows a strong defense will be important with a young arm in the circle.

“We have some good speed and athleticism at key positions and if we can fit a couple of different people in where we want, I think we should be able to field the ball pretty well,” he said. “What we stress is to make the routine play. If you play within yourself, that’s the best recipe to success.”

After losing a large senior class from a district runner-up team in 2021, the Aces finished seventh in the league but still managed to secure a district tournament berth in 2022. Hedrick would like to see the Aces build off that this season.

“Our league is known as one of the best in our area of the state and it’s always going to get us ready for the tournament,” he said. “What we would like to do is better our finish from last season by improving some in every phase of the game. It’s also going to be important how we bring along some of our newcomers to varsity that will make us a deeper team.”

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