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SOFTBALL: 10 Teams To Watch In The Tournament

Here are 10 teams who we think could make the most noise this postseason! Good luck to all!

1. LAKE CENTRAL INDIANS (28-1, 14-0)

WHAT’S NEXT?: Merrillville (5/21) in S1 at Lake Central

KEY WINS: Lincoln-Way Central (IL), Center Grove, Brownsburg, Penn

HEAD COACH: Yvette Tovar

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Jolie Adams, Kate Renschen, Taylor Schafer, Sofia Calderaro

WHY ARE THEY HERE?: The team is loaded with talent from top to bottom and has shown that they can hang with the best in the state. 

Wins over the current top 4A ranked team in Illinois – Lincoln-Way Central, as well as victories over Indiana state ranked Brownsburg, Penn, Crown Point (twice), Center Grove, Hanover Central, and more. All of those teams listed besides Hanover Central are in the 4A class – meaning potential postseason opponents for the Tribe.

The team is led by a group of relentless bats in the lineup. Northwestern commit Kate Renschen, Auburn commit Jolie Adams, a slugging Sophomore in Alexa Iwema, and an Ohio State commit in Taylor Schafer are just to name a few of LC’s biggest threats with the bat. The Indians have outscored opponents 270-30 this season. 

LC can pitch as well, as their two-headed rotation of Sofia Calderaro and Maddie Such has held opposing batters to a .163 batting average this year.

The Tribe are the top 4A ranked softball team in the state for a reason. Now only time will tell to see if they can keep up this level of dominance.

2. ANDREAN 59ERS (21-5, 9-3)

WHAT’S NEXT?: Lake Station (5/20) in S33 at Andrean

KEY WINS: Siegel (TN), Plainview (AL), Munster, Buchanan (MI)

HEAD COACH: Miranda Elish

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Maggie Voliva, Abbey Bond, Sadie Drousias

WHY ARE THEY HERE?: The second-ranked team in the class 2A polls is filled with postseason experience that can take them back to the State Championship game. 

Last year, the Niners went on a run to the title game before eventually falling short to North Posey. The team brings back some quality pieces from that run, along with a first-year interim Head Coach who knows a thing or two about postseason success.

Now experienced pieces like Sadie Drousias, Abbey Bond, and the Voliva sisters (Maggie and Libby) are on a mission to avenge their State Championship loss a season ago. 

Although the Niners dropped a few games in conference play that ended their NCC title hopes, they are always a force in their 2A class. The main hurdle in their sectional is Illiana Christian. If  get over the the talented Illiana roster, it could be another deep playoff run for Andrean.

3. CROWN POINT BULLDOGS (21-6, 12-2)

WHAT’S NEXT?: Winner of Chesterton/Lowell (5/23) in S2 at Chesterton

KEY WINS: Andrean, Penn, New Palestine, LaPorte

HEAD COACH: Angie Richwalski

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Lexi Howard, Ashlyn Kita, Lexi Smith

WHY ARE THEY HERE?: Although it may be easy for most to overlook the Bulldogs given their Duneland counterpart in Lake Central, CP has been stellar this year. If there was a Region team that has given the Indians the most problems, it would have to be the Bulldogs, as in the two meetings Crown Point lost by a combined three runs. 

The Bulldogs have also been historically great in their Sectional, as they have won four straight Sectional titles. Lakeland commit Lexi Howard is a proven Senior leader for Angie Richwalski’s squad. Non-Seniors like Ashlyn Kita, Lexi Smith, and Paige Liezert are more names to look out for not only this postseason run but for potentially more in the future.

Plus, the Bulldogs received a bye to the semi-finals in their sectional at Chesterton. If history follows suit, the Bulldogs could be on their way to their fifth straight Sectional title if they get the job done.


WHAT’S NEXT?: Winner of Andrean/Lake Station (5/22) in S33 at Andrean

KEY WINS: Boone Grove, Munster, Chesterton (x2), Crown Point

HEAD COACH: Nicole Wondaal

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Lydia VanderWoude, Mikayla Derks, Avery Martin

WHY ARE THEY HERE?: The Greater South Shore Conference champions are a lethal combination of Senior experience and youthful production.

Belmont commit Lydia VanderWoude, who is only a Junior, has been sensational both with the bat and on the base path. Cayden Peterson, a Sophomore, is one half of Illiana’s solid pitching rotation. Seniors Mikayla Derks, a Hope College commit, and Avery Martin are destined to captain the Vikings to their first sectional title since 2022.

Last year’s postseason run for the Vikings ended in a 3-1 Sectional Championship loss to Andrean. Now, the two could meet up again in the semis, as the Vikings will be on a bye for the first batch of games in the Andrean sectional. That potential matchup between the #6 vs #2 ranked teams in class 2A (5/13 poll) is shaping up to be a marquee matchup – with the winner in a promising spot for the sectional and beyond.

5. MUNSTER MUSTANGS (19-9, 10-2)

WHAT’S NEXT?: East Chicago Central (5/20) in S1 at Lake Central

KEY WINS: Lincoln-Way Central (IL), Leo, Andrean, Boone Grove

HEAD COACH: Jill Perez

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Emily Siurek, Ally Compton, Kylie Madura

WHY ARE THEY HERE?: A handful of big-time wins along with some solid talented pieces. 

To begin their season, Munster had a very slow start with a 1-4 record in their first 5 games. Since then, the Mustangs found success, leading to a conference championship.

Power has been the name of the game for Munster this season as they have hit a school record for home runs as a team this season, eclipsing the program’s previous mark of 28. On top of that, the freshman duo of Kaylee O’Connell and Ally Compton have combined for 18 of those bombs (and they both can pitch too).

If things go well in the first few games of sectionals for the Mustangs, a potential date with the Lake Central Indians would come in the championship. The two did meet once this year, dating back to March 20 with a 3-1 LC victory.


6. BOONE GROVE WOLVES (18-6, 7-0)

WHAT’S NEXT?: Winner of Griffith/River Forest (5/22) in S17 at Griffith

KEY WINS: Stewarts Creek (TN), North Newton, Hebron, South Central

HEAD COACH: Ron Saunders

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Emily Veschak, Mercedes Szakacs, Maria Otero

WHY ARE THEY HERE?: Currently ranked #8 in 3A of the Softball Coaches Association of Indiana (as of 5/13), the Wolves are also atop the Porter County Conference with an undefeated record in conference play. 

This team simply puts the bat on the ball. The Wolves are averaging double digits hits per game and have been putting an immense amount of pressure on every defense they play. To add to that, their defense has been just as sharp allowing just three runs per contest. Seniors Natalee Meinert and Mariah Atteberry have been the core of the pitching staff and will be the arms to watch in the postseason.

With favorable matchups throughout their sectional, Boone Grove is poised to make a run this postseason. After a first round bye, they will await the winner of Griffith/River Forest.


WHAT’S NEXT?: Hebron (5/21) in S34 at South Central

KEY WINS: Winamac, Westville, Parkway

HEAD COACH: Tony Wallace

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Lexi Johnson, Grace Shukitis, Valerie Horne 

WHY ARE THEY HERE?: South Central’s pitching staff has been one of the best not only in their conference but possibly in the state.

Juniors Valerie Horne and Lexi Johnson have done a majority of the work on the mound leading the team to a 1.21 ERA combined. Johnson not only gets it done on the mound, but also at the plate as she hosts a team-high batting average of .466. Freshman Grace Shukitis and senior Tennley Werner have also contributed heavily to this team’s offensive success. 

The Satellites host this year’s sectionals and will take on the Hebron Hawks who they lost to earlier this season on May 3rd by a score of 5-0. After winning back-to-back sectional titles, the Satellites fell short thanks to Hebron. Now, they will be looking to get back to a sectional title on their home field. However, the 14-9 Hawks is no easy first-game test. Whoever wins that one has a great chance for the rest of the bracket.

8. HOBART BRICKIES (16-7, 6-6)

WHAT’S NEXT?: Valparaiso (5/21) in S2 at Chesterton

KEY WINS: Munster, Hanover Central, Andrean

HEAD COACH: Steve Moss

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Keirys Click, Ella Hornak, Taylor Lopez

WHY ARE THEY HERE: The Brickies have not won a sectional championship since 2016 but could find themselves in the mix at Chesterton.

Illinois commit Keirys Click is having a historical season so far leading the team in every single offensive statistical category. Her triple slash is video-game like: .632/.747/1.263. 

Earlier this season this team was able to win eight consecutive games. The ability to win consecutive games in a season is the formula to postseason success as the Brickies look to snap their sectional drought. 

They take on an under .500 Valparaiso team in the first round and would take on Portage with a win who they already defeated earlier this season. Crown Point is arguably the top dog in this sectional, but the Brickies are not too far behind. This team will go as far as Click can take them. 

9. LAPORTE SLICERS (14-10, 9-5)

WHAT’S NEXT?: Winner of Michigan City/Mishawaka (5/22) in S3 at South Bend Adams

KEY WINS: at New Prairie, Illiana Christian, Plymouth


PLAYERS TO WATCH: Reghan Stephany, Marcy Bearickx, Mia Maxel 

WHY ARE THEY HERE?: The Slicers are searching for their first sectional title since 2010, and this may be one of the best chances they’ve had in a while to snap that drought. 

Being in the DAC means you have to play Lake Central and Crown Point and that does not make it easy to win your conference. However, it is great preparation for postseason play and the Slicers finished third in the DAC right behind those two teams. 

Senior Reghan Stephany leads the team offensively with an on-base percentage north of .500. Senior pitcher Marcy Bearickx has been the Slicers most consistent arm to rely on this season with around 70 innings pitched and a 2.81 ERA.

LaPorte has not had much postseason success in a while, but they do have some favorable matchups until the championship where South Bend St. Joseph awaits on the opposite side of the bracket. 


WHAT’S NEXT?: Bishop Noll (5/20) in S17 at Griffith

KEY WINS:  Hobart, West Central, Chesterton

HEAD COACH: Sam Antkiewicz

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Gabi Comia, Sienna Stilley, Payton Antkiewicz

WHY ARE THEY HERE?: The Wildcats have won four consecutive sectional championships and will be in search of making it five this postseason.

Although the regular season records may not be eye popping, Hanover Central has made their sectional bracket look fairly easy in seasons past. Nonetheless, the Wildcats are still a talented group. 

The Wildcats hit for power as they have 23 home runs as a team with 11 of them coming from sophomore Sienna Stilley. Florida commit Gabi Comia leads the team in batting average and on-base percentage and is looking to end her decorated high school career in style. 

Despite dominating their sectional over the past few years, Boone Grove is a potential matchup in the championship, who is currently ranked #8 in the SCAI Softball Poll of the Week (5/13).

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