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    What Berkshire will lack in senior leadership this season, the Badgers will make up for with talent and experience.

    The Badgers return five starters and one other letter-winner from a squad that finished 9-19 overall and 5-5 in the Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division. Despite the solid core group returning, Berkshire won’t have any seniors on its roster.

    “We do not have any seniors on the roster, but our six returning varsity players give us some experience,” said Berkshire coach Dave List. “I have been encouraged by what I have seen in practice thus far, both from the returners and the incoming freshmen class.”

    List knows his young players will be challenged throughout the season, but he’s hoping that come tournament time they are battle-tested and ready for the postseason grind.

    “Our youth could be a blessing or something we will have to overcome. The ability is there, but we will have to execute in order to succeed,” he said. “My expectations are to be very competitive in the conference race and to have a solid enough record by tournament seeding time to not have to see the likes of Champion or South Range until districts, if we should get there.”

    Berkshire’s projected starting lineup includes four juniors, four sophomores, and a freshman and sophomore competing for playing time.

    Junior catcher Liv Masink and junior center fielder Jenna Hornak return to the starting lineup after earning honorable mention All-CVC honors last spring.

    Masink hit .232 with 12 runs batted in last season while Hornak hit .252.

    “Liv is our catcher and has great arm strength,” List said. “Jenna is a good defensive outfielder.”

    Juniors Bailey Jokinen and Kylie Gleason will play second and third, respectively.

    Gleason provides the Badgers with some power as she seeks more consistency at the plate this season.

    “Kylie Gleason has the ability to hit for average and power. She will look to improve on a .216 average,” List said. “Bailey Jokinen is a very good defensive player and will look to get her offense going. She missed many games last year due to an ankle injury.”

    Sophomore Kate Miller started in the outfield as a freshman and this year, she’ll make the move to shortstop to tighten up Berkshire’s infield.

    Miller batted .333 last spring.

    Sophomore Mallory Durosko will play first and classmate Julia Young will start in right field.

    “(Young) is a talented outfielder and I expect a big year from her,” List said.

    Sophomores Elise Tiber and Delaney Gumm and freshman Ivy Martin are competing for time in right field.

    Freshman Whitney Davis, Durosko, and Gleason will see time in the circle for the Badgers.

    List is eager to see what Davis can do during her debut season with the Badgers.

    “Whitney Davis may be the most talented player Berkshire has seen since Shannon McGee,” List said. “She can play any position. She hits for power and average, based on her travel ball success. She has great speed; definitely a five-tool player.”

    Overall, List is confident his young team has the talent to make a run at a conference title and maybe more.

    “Our athleticism is definitely a strength,” he said. “We will have to rely on our team speed to make plays defensively and put pressure on the defense by being aggressive offensively. We will have to manufacture runs offensively and have solid pitching from our rotation.”

     

     

    Steve Hare
    Steve Harehttps://www.ohiovarsity.com
    The creator and publisher of OhioVarsity.com, Hare has covered high school sports in Northeast Ohio since 1997. He began as a correspondent for the Lake County News Herald, where he contributed until 2011, primarily covering high school football and wrestling. In 1999, Hare began writing for IrishIllustrated.com, a member of the Scout.com network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. OhioVarsity.com was created in 2004 and was a member of the Rivals.com network until 2012. The site's original purpose was to cover Ohio high school football and recruiting news but since has grown to cover all sports and to provide sports information services to high school athletic programs and individual teams. 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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