Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Healthy Eagles ready to soar

Geneva returns just four starters from last spring’s squad that finished 12-13 overall but the Eagles are healthy this spring and have added more depth to the roster.

“I am very excited about this season,” Geneva coach Eleshia Pitcher said. “We have strong, healthy returning players and our newcomers have put in lots of extra hours in the offseason. “They may be young but are improving every day.”

Geneva’s projected starting lineup includes three seniors, one junior, two sophomores and three freshmen.

The seniors are among the Eagles’ most talented and experienced players.

Megan Pitcher will see most of her innings behind the plate this year after playing first base in the pst. She batted .527 last spring on the way to earning first-team All-Chagrin Valley Conference and first team Ashtabula County honors and winning the team’s Gold Glove and highest batting average awards.

“Megan has been our leading fielder for the past three seasons,” Coach Pitcher said. “She also brings a very solid bat with her and is able to find holes in the field to get on base. Megan has moved from first base to catcher this season where she feels more at home and loves to be.”

Podluzne will play shortstop where she earned honorable mention All-CVC and second team all-county honors after hitting .364 as a junior. She always will see some inning in the circle.

“Brittany not only brings the ability to keep batters off balance from the mound, she has moved to shortstop from third base where not a whole lot of balls get by her. She also has incredible bat speed and is able to find her way on base more times than not.”

Guggenbiller will play center field. She was named second-team all-CVC last spring after hitting .324 with a .526 on-base percentage.

Junior Kayla Lindberg is projected to throw most of the innings for the Eagles this spring but she can also play outfield and has plenty of pop in her bat.

“Kayla will spend most of her time on the mound this season but when not on the mound is by far one of the best outfielders I have seen in a long time,” Pitcher said. “Kayla also has a lot of power in her bat and is going to make a huge difference in our lineup this season.”

Sophomore Jasmine Hall is projected to play first base and classmate Kayli Stash is slotted in right field.

Freshmen Maddie Fortney (2B), MaDaliz Alvarez (3B) and Raegan Jahn (LF) round out Geneva’s starting lineup.

Alvarez also could play in the outfield.

“She will be spending most of her time at third base this season but she can also help us in the outfield or from the mound if needed and she brings a lot of power with her bat,” Pitcher said.

While the Eagles have a large contingent of younger players in the starting lineup, Pitcher is confident her upperclassmen will lead the way and help the team grow and develop this spring.

“We have a much better team dynamic this year,” she said. “The girls are playing as a team instead of individuals. We have a strong group of returning lettermen who are pushing the younger players and making them better every day. I am super impressed by the progress they have made in the offseason and so far since our first day of practice.”

Steve Hare
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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