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    Mustangs preparing for new league


    One of the biggest challenges facing the Grand Valley softball team following the lost season is preparing for a new league.

    The Mustangs, who return five starters from 2019, joined the Chagrin Valley Conference last year but will debut on the softball diamond this spring.

    “Not having last season is tough because I’m having girls step into a varsity role after having no experience,” said Grand Valley coach Mitchell Lake. “Just have to feed them to the wolves now that we are switching conferences.”

    Seniors Madi Takacs, Alexis Cooper, Ashley Marcum, and Emily Nipple are among the most experienced Mustangs.

    Takacs is the ace of the pitching staff, Cooper will play shored in left field, and Nipple will play right.

    The Mustangs will have a handful of juniors in the starting lineup as well including catcher Taylor Hall, first baseman Emily Eland, and third baseman Emma Sullivan.

    Sophomore Taryn Guzell will play second and freshman Kayla Hopes rounds out the projected starting lineup in center field.

    Eland and sophomore Sophia Duffala also will see time in the circle and senior Summer Poyer will provide depth.

    “Our pitching needs to be more dominant than years before,” Lake said. “We have to stay healthy as well. Alexis Cooper, Emma Sullivan, Madi Takacs, and Emily Eland will eat up many innings, if not all innings. Most of our production will come from them.”

    Steve Hare
    The creator and publisher of, 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, a member of the network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. was created in 2004 and was a member of the 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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