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Blue Water Area 2023 softball season preview

The first pitch of the 2023 high school softball season is just a few days away and if it's anything like last season, it ought to be an exciting one.

Last year Algonac and Richmond led the area, each winning their respective District and Region; the Blue Devils were also the BWAC champions. Fellow BWAC team Imlay City won its district as well.

In the MAC, Marine City won a share of the MAC-Blue while St. Clair won the MAC-White along with a district title.

Let's see who's returning to this year's rosters and what the area coaches have to say:


2022 season: 32-4 overall, 11-3 BWAC (2nd). District, Regional, and Quarterfinal champions. Lost in the State Semifinal to Millington.

Coach: Natalie Heim, entering her first season.

Key returners: Seniors Ella Stephenson, Dee DeLange, Carlie Baumgarten, and Tori Boyd. Our pitcher Kenna Bommarito returns along with third baseman/pitcher Jaycee Reams. We also return Sierra Vosler who will be a big bat in our lineup. We bring in six freshmen that could have a big impact as well.

Losses to graduation: Maria Simpson, Bri Thomason, and Sophia DuVernay.

Coach's Comment: I’m excited for another year of Muskrat softball. It is going to be fun and full of energy on the field. This is a special group that can do bigs things late into the season.

First game: April 5 at St. Clair


2022 season: 28-7 overall, 10-4 BWAC (T-3rd).

Coach: Erik Johnson, entering his 14 season.

Key returners:

Seniors shortstop Grace Koenig (CMU signee, Captain HM D3 All-State), pitcher Myah McLean (HM D3 All-State), third baseman Devin Johnston (D3 First-Team All-State), first baseman Elly Schapman, catcher Kendall Roszczewski.

Junior Lydia LaCavera.

Sophomores Brooklyn Bunch, Kylie Tennant, and Lauren Webster.

Losses to graduation: Grace Johnson, Isabella Theisen, and Sarah Hall.

Coach's Comment: We're excited to see what we can accomplish this season with a very veteran group. A majority of our team returns from a solid effort last year. We hope to compete every day and enjoy whatever comes our way.

First game: April 5 at Marysville


2022 season: 6-22 overall, 3-11 BWAC (7th).

Coach: Rob Girvin, entering his first season.

Key returners: Many returning varsity players, six seniors: Madison Capozzo, Emma Dossin, Amanda Labon, Brooklyn Pratt, Natalie Sauer, and Kendall Szlachta.

Losses to graduation: There were many great players off of last year's team that went on to college. They will be hard to replace.

Coach's Comment: It is a new start for this program, we have a renewed attitude and are excited to get started building this culture day by day.

First game: April 11 at Algonac


2022 season: 11-20 overall, 5-8 BWAC (5th).

Coach: Scott Young, entering his third season.

Key returners: Shaylee Kading, Riley Robertson, Isabella Pesina, Elara Rankin, Grace Stilson, Brooklyn Schultz.

Losses to graduation: Jaiden Gumtow, Rayna Johnson, Erin Kensley, Ava Vitale, and Cassandra Schell.

First game: April 4 v. Port Huron High

Imlay City

2022 season: 13-20 overall 4-10 BWAC (6th), District champions.

Coach: Jean Bannister, entering her 22nd season.

Key returners: Natalie Stone, Brooklyn Ross, Hope Schriber, Yesenia Rojas, and Chloe Bruman.

Losses to graduation: Jaya Forti.

Coach's Comment: The BWAC remains one of the toughest softball leagues in the state. We hope to compete with everybody in our league.

First game: April 6 v. Byron

Marine City

2022 season: 17-12, 10-2 MAC-Blue (T-1st)

Coach: Courtney LaBuhn, entering her seventh season.

Key returners: We have five juniors in their third year on varsity: Josalyn Dietlin, Jade Blanchard, Mia Simons, Alyssa Chartier, and Paige Nelson. We have a lot of depth in all positions and a very hard working group of young women.

Losses to graduation: We lost six seniors, five of which were two-year starters.

Coach's Comment: Every year you have a little different chemistry. I already like the feel of this year's chemistry. The leadership displayed so far has been impressive. They seem to be a cohesive group and they are all working very hard.

First game: April 6 at Marysville


2022 season: 18-11, 8-4 MAC-White (2nd)

Coach: Ryan Rathje, entering his 20th season.

Key returners: Brooklynn Evans, Emma Curtis, Lexie Perrin, Kara Miller, Kalista Negin, Ryan Quain, Jade Schiller, Meghan Winston, Avery Wolters, and Avery Woodard; New additions: Kayley Cordero, Allison Fraley, Clara Moore, Kalei Pegg, Avery Pegg, Kendal Quain, and Addilyn Vagi.

Losses to graduation: Kaitlyn Cain, Brandi Bassett, Ashley Bassett, Megan Liniarski, Kylie Parent, Anna Oles, and Kate Westmiller.

Coach's Comment: We have a terrific mix of returners as well as strong additions. We are looking forward to the season.

First game: April 5 v. Almont

North Branch

2022 season: 22-6 10-4 BWAC (T-3rd)

Coach: Alyssa Welling, entering her sixth season.

Key returners: Seniors Jasmine Mauk (OF), Natasha Bickel (1B), Courtney Ludescher (P), and Rachel Brinker (2B).

Juniors Hannah Carmack (C), Alana Deshetsky (P), Brookelynn Franklin (SS), and Cate Welch (UT).

Sophomores Emily Brinker (C) and Tracy Ludescher (OF).

Losses to graduation: Macie Bugg, Jasmine Girlish, and Madalyn Caudill.

Coach's Comment: We are coming back full steam ahead. We lost a couple individuals but have a promising group of underclassmen coming up that will fill those shoes. We lost six in-season games last year to high rated teams. We have been putting work in on the offseason in the weight room, with speed and agility, and in the batting cage. The group of girls I have this year mesh well together and I am excited for a fun and successful season.

First game: April 3 v. Caro

Port Huron High

2022 season: 4-17, 1-10 MAC-Blue (7th)

Coach: Chris Kozlowski, entering his 13th season.

Key returners: Isabella Trombly, Jordyn Fiedler, Cami Trendy, Erica Hudy, and Neelie Reed. New addition: Brynn Mullins.

Losses to graduation: Julia Gilbert and Savannah Kania.

Coach's Comment: We will work hard and be the best we can be.

First game: April 4 at Cros-Lex

Port Huron Northern

2022 season: 5-25, 3-9 MAC-Blue (6th)

Coach: Randy Shagena, entering his seventh season.

Key returners: Becca Larson.

Losses to graduation: Abby Landschoot.

Coach's Comment: We have 12 returning letter winners. With that being said, we are still really young. Last year we had five freshmen starting at times. The hope is the growing pains that we experienced last year will pay off this year. If we can get some consistent pitching, we will be competitive.

First game: April 6 v. St. Clair


2022 season: 27-10, 12-2 BWAC (1st). District and Regional champions.

Coach: Howard Stuart, entering his 45th season.

Key returners: Senior Piper Clark (SS/P).

Juniors Abbey Rinehart (OF), Liz Shuboy (IF), Lauren Tetlow (IF).

Sophomores Katie Shuboy (P), Emmi Hildreth (OF), Ashely Stafford (C/IF).

Losses to graduation: Lauren Creon, Liv Theut, Lauryn Ziza, and Sophie Ferranti.

Coach's Comment: So far this spring, we have looked good defensively.

First game: April 12 at Dakota

St. Clair

2022 season: 20-11, 10-2 MAC-White (1st). District champions.

Coach: Libby Cody, entering her second season.

Key returners: Claire Borg, Erin Seros, Audrey Schindler, Tabitha Furlin, and Addy Blank.

Losses to graduation: Avery Paul, Savanna Clark, and Lainey Pavlov.

Coach's Comment: I'm excited about the group of girls we have this year. So far it has been a really fun start and I look forward to seeing how they come together.

First game: April 5 v. Algonac


2022 season: 10-16, 0-14 BWAC (8th).

Coach: John Streak, entering his ninth season.

Key returners: Madison Hiller, Marissa Hoenicke, and Jillian Kamendat. New additions: Mackenzie Aguinaga and Danica McGranahan.

Losses to graduation: We lost two senior pitchers from last year.

Coach's Comment: We’re a very young team that will have some tough times but will shine as they get better.

First game: April 11 v. Almont


For in-game updates and other news, follow Calli on Twitter @ newberry_calli

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Who's your favorite to go all the way?

  • Algonac

  • Almont

  • Armada

  • Cros-Lex

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