Prep Softball

2018 prep softball preview: Area teams to watch

Iowa City Regina, Lansing Kee are defending state champions

Lansing Kee’s Chloe Severson (15) and Lansing Kee’s Kendra Cooper (10) celebrate their Class 1A state softball championship last season. Both return as the Hawks pursue a third straight championship. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
Lansing Kee’s Chloe Severson (15) and Lansing Kee’s Kendra Cooper (10) celebrate their Class 1A state softball championship last season. Both return as the Hawks pursue a third straight championship. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

Eight area softball teams to watch for the 2018 season:

Cedar Rapids Jefferson

Coach: Brian Erbe (6th year at Jefferson, 174-44; 16th year overall, 498-194)

2017 record: 39-6

2017 postseason: Class 5A state tournament, 7th place

Returning starters (6): P Erica Oler (sr.), C Hannah Markham (jr.), 2B Lindsey Culver (jr.), 3B Gabby Zach (jr.), LF Kaylee Donner (jr.), CF Olivia Erickson (sr.)

Cedar Rapids Kennedy

Coach: Maddison LeClere (2nd year, 37-8)

2017 record: 37-8

2017 postseason: Class 5A state tournament, 3rd place

Returning starters (7): P/1B Kaylin Kinney (soph.), P Jayme Scheck (fr.), C Abby Spore (soph.), 2B/P Ashley Winterowd (sr.), 3B Natalie Blank (sr.), CF Alyssa Martin (soph.), RF Camryn Jeffords (sr.)

Cedar Rapids Xavier

Coach: Nikki Gahring (6th year, 127-75)

2017 record: 23-18

2017 postseason: Class 4A regional finalist

Returning starters (7): P Maria Steffen (sr.), 1B Katie Langholz (sr.), 2B Keera Ball (jr.), 3B Jenae Marshall (jr.), LF Olivia Richards (jr.), CF Charlotte Richards (sr.), RF Hannah Williams (sr.)

Dyersville Beckman

Coach: Tom Tegeler (7th year at Beckman, 132-105; 10th year overall, 196-159)

2017 record: 30-12

2017 postseason: Class 2A regional finalist

Returning starters (8): Sydney Steffen (jr.), Heather Bockenstedt (jr.), Isabelle Bennett (jr.), Keeley Schmitt (fr,), Brooke Lucas (sr.), Haley LeGrand (soph.), Abby Hoefler (sr.), Jadyn Welling (fr.)

Independence

Coach: Heather Hupke (4th year, 53-65)

2017 record: 26-14

2017 postseason: Class 4A regional semifinalist

Returning starters (8): P/IF Mackenzie Hupke (jr.), P Megan Brock (jr.), OF Allison Doyle (sr.), OF Lydia Butters (sr.), 1B Allie Jo Zieser (soph.), IF Abby Davis (jr.), P/IF Megan Schachterle (jr.), 3B Mary Puffett (soph.)

Iowa City Regina

Coach: Jake Koolbeck (1st year, 0-0)

2017 record: 30-11

2017 postseason: Class 2A state champion

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Returning starters (8): P/1B Katie Bracken (jr.), C Maeve Dunne (jr.), 2B Lauren Marth (jr.), 3B Taylor O’Conner (sr.), SS Emily Bonnett (sr.), CF Jess Hunter (jr.), RF Carrigan O’Conner (jr.), DH Paisley Gardner (sr.)

Lansing Kee

Coach: Elizabeth Hill (8th year, 157-93)

2017 record: 38-2

2017 postseason: Class 1A state champion (second consecutive)

Returning starters (6): P Kendra Cooper (sr.), C Chloe Severson (sr.), 1B Katie Brennan (jr.), SS Makayla Walleser (jr.), LF Annabelle Dibert (sr.), CF Nicki Wood (sr.)

Linn-Mar

Coach: John Begley (5th year at Linn-Mar, 105-64; 24th year overall, 677-373)

2017 record: 27-15

2017 postseason: Class 5A regional finalist

Returning starters (8): P Katie Smith (sr.), 1B Elly Schuemann (sr.), 2B Ally Johnson (sr.), 3B Rae Van Milligan (soph.), IF Caitlyn Nuehring (sr.), LF Miriam Berry (sr.), CF Ariana Rolle (sr.), OF Carly Rima (jr.)

l Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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