IOWA CITY — The West High Women of Troy are set to defend their 2010 MVC Conference Championship on the varsity softball diamond. The ladies posted a 32-10 record overall and 24-2 in the MVC last year. Coach Jeff Kelley looks for even better results this year.
“Because we were so young last year, I look for improvement from all of our returning starters offensively and defensively.”
Michaela Recker (sophomore), Brianna Sturtz (junior), Tatum Klein (junior), Danielle Chelf (junior), Shelly Stumpff (junior), Lauren Larson (junior), Alise Miller (senior) and Mackenzie Haight (junior) are the starters Kelley spoke of. Sturtz was an Honorable Mention for All-State/All-District/All-Conference. Klein made the Second Team All-State/All-District/All-Conference, Stumpff earned Third Team All-State/All-District/All-Conference honors, Haight and Miller were also Honorable Mention players All-State/All-District/All-Conference.
Coach Miller will return Haight and Stumpff to the mound while looking for relief from transfer Mackenzie Laux (2A Second Team All-State/All-District/All-Conference) and eighth grader Laynie Whitehead. Miller, Sturtz and Klein will bring experience back to the infield.
Recker, Larson and Madison Miller (eighth grade) will alternate hitting and fielding duties. In addition, Jaylinn Tresslar (junior), Caroline Found (junior), Lynn Jehle (sophomore), Morgan Ryan (sophomore) and Mikaela Morgan (eighth grade) will also be seeing time in the outfield. When Shelly Stumpff is on the mound, look for Danielle Chelf, Lynn Jehle and Madison Miller to be spending time working third base.
Found, Tresslar, Amber Thomas (freshman), Ryan, Kailey Boland (junior), Elena Wilson (sophomore), Erin Kallsen (sophomore) and Miller are expected to come off the bench to give the Women of Troy some speed on the bases.
Coach Kelley sees West’s pitching as strength with Haight and Stumpff being joined by Laux.
“We also return most of our lineup from last year, so I would anticipate that our defense should be a strength again this season,” Kelley said. The question mark hanging over the team, the coach added, is if the team can handle the pressure of defending its conference championship.
Kelley sees Cedar Rapids Jefferson, Waterloo West, Cedar Rapids Xavier, Dubuque Hempstead and Cedar Falls as teams to keep an eye on. Xavier ended West’s season last year in a 2-0 loss in the Class 4A Regional Final.
Kelley is assisted this year by assistants Katelyn Lane and Christina Gaard. Kelley is in his fourth year as the head coach with an 84-40 overall record, and 56-22 in the MVC.