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Waukegan softball poised for breakout season

04/01/2014, 9:27pm CDT
By Bryan Bonato

As this season starts to get going, Waukegan has a wealth of varsity softball experience that it will look to as the program continues to move in a positive direction.

Sometimes, the wheels of progress grind slowly.

But at some point, as long you’re progressing, those wheels are eventually going to pick up steam.

For Waukegan’s softball team, this could be the year those wheels really start rolling and the victories come 2-3 times a week instead of 2-3 times a month.

As this season starts to get going, the Bulldogs have a wealth of varsity softball experience.

Hannah Thompson and Melissa Anderson will pitch and be important pieces in the lineup.

Benita Bones at third is another four-year varsity player. Leadoff hitter Araceli Cruz and junior catcher Ashley Lambert have been contributors since they stepped on the field at Waukegan.

The seniors went 4-22 as freshman, 7-23 as sophomores, and 12-20 last year as juniors.

This team looks poised to continue the trend.

Veteran coach Windell Piercy is certainly upbeat as the season gets going.

“I’m hopeful.

“We just need to stay away from injuries and academic issues, all those factors that don’t involve our play on the field and can make us noncompetitive against the big boys,” he said.

Waukegan opened its season with a 2-0 loss at Carmel in a contest that the Bulldogs could have won with timely hitting.

Carmel’s assistant coach is Shane Schueneman, who was in the Waukegan High dugout the last time the Bulldogs were ready for prime time in this sport.

“Shane was our head coach and won 22 games in back-to-back seasons (2006 and 2007), and this roster reminds me of some of that talent,” said Piercy.

“We’re senior-heavy, with girls who have played travel ball since sixth grade and have a lot of experience playing together.”

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