It is that time of year once again ladies and gentlemen, the winter season is coming to an end and spring is almost here, which can only mean one thing: baseball/softball season is here! While MLB teams are hard at work in Spring Training getting ready for their 2017 seasons, the Mount’s baseball and softball teams are already under way into their 2017 seasons.
The Mount baseball team is looking to get back to their winning ways this season. The Lions have not won a conference championship since 2008 and have not had a winning conference record since 2011. However, the 2017 season looks to be full of promise as the Lions return their top 11 hitters (according to msjsports.com) and almost all of their pitchers from a season ago. In 2016, the Lions batters collectively put up a .282 average with a .362 OBP (on-base percentage) on top of 17 home runs. The Lions will have senior Zac Farmer back this year, who led the team in doubles, home runs, and RBIs and was second on the team in ERA behind senior Kyle Kittle.
Last year’s pitching staff put up a team ERA (earned run average) of 4.32 with five of the top 10 pitchers on the team in terms of ERA being freshmen last year. The Lions will look to build off their younger players’ success once again this season as they bring back sophomore Alex Wagner who led the team in ERA last year (2.22) and was tied for the most wins (five) on the team with Wyatt Myers. With so many promising young players coming back for the 2017 season, the Lions should be a force to reckon with in conference play this year as they push to win the HCAC championship.
Last year the Lions softball team finished with a 15-22-1 record and 7th place in the HCAC. The Lions have not won a conference championship since they had a three-peat from 2001, 2002, and 2003 and the Lions have not finished above the bottom three teams in the conference since 2009, but that is not stopping the Lions from having their sights set on a conference ring this 2017 season.
This year the Lions will look to rely on their senior class as they chase their first ring in fourteen seasons. Morgan Kain, who led the conference in home runs last year with 16, looks to continue to be a force at the plate again this year. Senior Morgan Hoehn, who was second on the team in batting average last season and first in on-base percentage, is back again this year looking to once again be a tough out for opposing schools. The third senior to look out for this year who had a solid season last year is Paige Kiesewetter, who not only was fifth on the team in batting average, but led the team in RBIs last year. On top of her ability to contribute with the bat in her hands, she also is one of the main pitchers for the Lions along with junior Danielle Nicholson.
2017 has a lot of promise for the Lions’ softball and baseball programs and it will be great to see how it unfolds for these two great teams. Here’s hoping athletes in these programs will be getting fitted for their ring sizes at the end of the season.