RANTOUL – Although the season will not start until atleast April 4, the Rantoul Eagles softball team will have a shot at having a big season.
The Eagles went 11-16 last season but only lost one senior.
Almost every good team has key leadership at the top, and Rantoul will be one of those teams.
Eagles head coach Travis Flesner said he is returning two huge seniors.
“Pretty good core of girls coming back; we only lost one senior in Jada Mosely last year,” Flesner said. “Lexi Sherrick and Madison Walton will share time on the mound, and they will be huge for us.”
Good pitchers normally come with good catchers, and Rantoul will have a pair of back stops to start the season.
“Jerzie Grob and Bella Shields shared time behind the plate last year and will do so again this year,” Flesner said.
The Eagles will also have a returning center fielder who is ready to roll.
“Jenna Sanford will play centerfield, and I have talked to her, and she is excited and rejuvenated for this year,” Flesner said.
Rantoul is expecting to rely on mostly upperclassmen this year.
“As of right now we don’t anticipate anybody coming up or freshmen that will for sure be instant impact,” Flesner said.
The seniors will need to step up because there are no easy games in the Illini Prairie Conference.
“Every one of our conference games is going to be a battle,” Flesner said.
“SJO, Unity, Olympia and Pontiac are really good and probably have a chance to go to state.”
If the Eagles come out on top of that conference Flesner thinks they would be battle-tested for almost anything.
“Winning a conference title will be as difficult as winning a sectional title,” Flesner said.
Going into the season, despite the senior leadership, the Eagles still have questions with the starting lineup.
“I couldn’t tell you with a week left what our starting lineup will be. This last week of practice is big for us,” Flesner said.
You can contact Ryan Birch at Rbirch@RantoulPress.com or on Twitter @RyanBirchRP