Softball: Top talent set for Bandits all-star games
For the high school softball junkie, Chicago Bandits Stadium in Rosemont will be the place to be on Wednesday when the Chicago Sun-Times All-Stars take on the Beverly Bandits 18U Gold.
The event will feature two games, with the underclassman all-stars playing the Bandits at 6 pm followed by the senior all-stars playing the Bandits at 8 pm.
The seniors will be led by Purdue-bound lefty pitcher Lilly Fecho (Glenbard North). Fecho was a first-team Sun-Times All-Area player and also named Gatorade Player of the Year. She is one of two Gatorade Players of the Year playing for the seniors. Brianne LeBeau (Richards) received the honor as a junior in 2011.
“Having the last two Gatorade Players of the Year from lllinois in one game is impressive,” Bandits founder/coach Bill Conroy said. “Putting this together is fun for everyone. Having a collection of kids from my Bandits program and the best in Illinois should make it special for the fans to see.
“Some of the best high school players against some of the best travel ball players make for a fun, competitive environment for all.”
Kankakee speedster Kylie Johnson is the other first team All-Area player on the senior roster. Michigan State-bound Dani Goranson (Elk Grove), Morgan Maize (Leyden), Hannah Perryman (Elgin) and Melanie Early (Lisle) round off an impressive pitching staff. Also on the 16-player roster is Danielle Chitkowski, who led Glenbard South to the Class 3A state title.
The underclassman will feature 18 players including Sun-Times Player of the Year Maeve McGuire (Benet), first team All-Area players Kelly Christner (Andrew), Loren Kzysko (Barrington) and Jill Galich (Lincoln-Way North). Sluggers Nicole Pihl (Seneca) and Katie Ryan (Batavia), and hard-throwing pitcher Elaine Heflin (Downers Grove North) highlight the roster.
The Bandits pieced together 12 players from Illinois and three from Ohio and formed one team from their two Gold teams to play in each game. Leading the way will be several first-team All-Area players: Michigan-bound Abby Ramirez (Trinity), Bri Cavin (Conant) and Emily Naegele (Oak Forest). Miranda Cavin (Conant) and Kaitlyn Knary (Moline) complete a speedy and power filled lineup.
Ohio pitchers Taran Avelo and Savvy Dorsey were the respective players of the year in their classes (1 and 3). They both throw in the mid-60s and will try and hold down some of the best hitters in the state. Avelo, a freshman, is already committed to the University of Washington. Dorsey is committed to Ohio University.