Lady Eagles Seek Redemption After Disappointing 2018 Season

Jacob Steinberg, IV Leader Sports Co-Editor

The IVCC Women’s Softball team is seeking redemption after a disappointing 2018 season. 

After finishing 17-18 overall and 11-11 in conference play, Head Coach Cory Tomasson says that last season was a letdown. “I really had high expectations last year, and we just didn’t live up to it,” said Tomasson.  

Last year was very unusual due to weather conditions causing vast amounts of game cancellations. Tomasson noted that regressions from sophomores played a big role in a lackluster season. “Our sophomores, all except for one player, had their statistics drop from their freshman to their sophomore year,” noted Tomasson. He also stated that it had never happened before in his 19 seasons as head coach  

This year, he expects sophomores to step up for the team and avoid the production fall-off from last season. The Lady Eagles return a core that showed a ton of promise from last season. Returnees include Brenna McCann, Rena Barroso, Maddie Dougherty, Allison Shirley and others. Barosso will be the leadoff hitter, while McCann will be the sparkplug for the offense. Tomasson expects her to lead the team in runs batted in (RBI). 

While there is a continuity, there are some new faces that have been added. Alivia Resurreccion, Olivia Holmes, Emily Cook, Mallery Pearson, Shea Moritz and Bailey Simpson round up the recruiting class for this season. 

Resurreccion and Holmes, out of Putnam County, will be used on the mound this season as Tomasson sees them being big contributors there. However, Holmes will be also be used as a utility player in the infield and outfield whenever someone is unavailable. Tomasson sees a lot of upside in Holmes’s bat as well: “She’s small in stature but she has some pop in her bat… in the fall she hit some nice shots in the gap.” 

Defense was a weakness for the Lady Eagles last season. They committed 54 errors last season. Though it is a low in the region, it is still many for a short season. Coach Tomasson believes that they can be cleaned up. “I think the freshmen that we have will really help us,” said Tomasson. “I think that Emily [Cook], Olivia [Holmes] and Maddie Dougherty to play second base cleans that option up tremendously.’’ 

Tomasson believes that defense is the hardest thing to work on because the team will not be outside until they travel to Florida. He said, “When you’re going for four or five months without seeing a fly ball except for in the gym, it makes it difficult for the outfield to get a read on the ball.” 

The goal for this season is to win conference, go to the region tournament and try to advance to nationals. Tomasson is optimistic, based on what he has seen. He sees a well-balanced team that is powerful and has a good chemistry.  

It starts next week when the team travels to Florida for six preseason games.  

Tomasson says that since there will be no push-over teams, the competition they will face is good mental preparation in terms of regional competition: “Every single team we play down there is going to be good.” 

The Lady Eagles will play six games in Florida March 12-14 before their first home doubleheader on March 21 against Joliet Junior College.