The Bunnies improved their win total by one from a year ago, and they played right with some of the best competition in the ever-difficult Heart of Illinois Conference. Fisher had plenty of individual standouts, including strong seasons from Dawson Purvis, Jed Chow, Chris Hess, Brandon Henson, Dakota Matthews and Dylan Baker.
Despite the one-win improvement, it was fairly obvious it was a disappointing season for the Bunnies, who were hoping to finish at or above .500 and make a run at a regional championship. That was not in the cards for Fisher this season, of course, but perhaps the foundation of success has been set for 2019.
Following two of the worst win-loss records this millennium, don’t be surprised if things begin to turn around for this Bunnies program with the young talent lined up and down the roster.
The most obvious highlight is the 11-0 record in the Heart of Illinois Conference that resulted in the program’s first-ever regular-season HOIC championship. But for players and coaches, it was the uncanny chemistry and togetherness the team had — each player interviewed glowed about the club’s bond and how easy it was to get along with one another.
Pretty clear here … with Fisher’s lofty goals of making it back to the state tournament and winning a state championship, being unable to make it out of the regional it was hosting puts a damper on things. The Bunnies ran into a pitching buzzsaw in Heyworth’s Adyson Slayback, who tossed a no-hitter and had Fisher twisted up the entire game.
Fisher will somehow need to find a replacement for catcher Becca Clanton, center fielder Bailey Hadden, second baseman Kylie Terven and right fielder Karissa Fredrickson. The Bunnies do, however, return ace Sydney Eichelberger in addition to Sidney Hood, Lauren Sommer, Taylor May and Shelbee Owens, whom head coach Ken Ingold labeled a "terrific returning core."
Track and Field
As far as Fisher track and field goes, it was once again headlined by Alayna Stalter. The senior, who will be continuing her career at Murray State, medaled in the 100-meter hurdles for the third consecutive season in Class 1A.
Though Stalter did medal once again, it was not quite the goal that she hoped to achieve. The senior last year had set her sights on winning a state championship in the event, but she will now look to set similar title goals in college.
KaWanna Brooks will be at the helm of the girls program for the third straight year and is projected to coach both programs for the second consecutive season in 2019. The University of Illinois grad has the program in good hands.
Contact Zack Carpenter at email@example.com and on Twitter @ZackCarpenter11.