Saturday, May 27
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    North has a new head coach but not much else has changed as the Rangers return a deep and talented roster.

    Six starters return from last year’s squad that finished 12-7 overall and 8-6 in the Western Reserve Conference, leaving first-year coach Matt McPeek optimistic about his squad’s potential this spring.

    “I feel the team is deep and talented,” McPeek said. “We’re a little beat up from the winter, but everyone fights the injury bug at some point. I’d rather fight it now. This team has the talent and depth to compete with anyone. If we can execute, we expect to compete for a league title.”

    North already has lost sophomore third baseman Aly Hall for the season, so remaining healthy will be one key to success this season.

    If the Rangers can avoid any other extended injuries they should be within reach of their goals this spring.

    “Our starting pitching is intact from a year ago and having six returning starters along with three college commits should give us an edge,” McPeek said.

    Senior center fielder Juliana Augusta has committed to continuing her education and playing career at Notre Dame College. Senior third baseman Autumn Fester will play at Wilmington College, and senior right fielder Madie Cicero is headed to Waynesburg University.

    The Rangers also will have senior Olivia Augusta, who has played on the varsity squad for four years, at first base and another senior, Dori Siekaniec, at second.

    Four sophomores round out the projected starting lineup.

    Alyssa McPeek, a News-Herald honorable mention selection last spring, will catch while Katie Bucy will play shortstop, Bre Preston will be in left field, and Maddie Russo will be the team’s designated player.

    Sophomore Amanda Dobida and Olivia Augusta will pitch.

    “We will rely heavily on Notre Dame College commit Juliana Augusta to be our offensive leader,” Coach McPeek said. “Her sister Olivia Augusta can hit for power as well and has been a staple in the lineup for the past four years. We look for big things out of our returning starters who have a tremendous amount of experience–Dori Siekaniec, Madie Cicero, Amanda Dobida, and Alyssa McPeek. Bre Preston and Autumn Fester will be in the starting nine. Veteran first baseman and senior Alyssa Gross gives us another power bat to call on. Newcomers Taylor Bard and Jenna Hutchinson will deepen our bullpen, while Maddie Russo and Lilly Slapnik provide even more power to the lineup when their number is called. Lilly Namestnik offers a left-handed bat with pop and runs well.”

    North has the potential to improve on its win total and finish in league play.

    “The girls need to believe in themselves and be great teammates to each other,” McPeek said. “They need to stay hungry.”


    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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