Mayfield enters the 2018 season with several returning starters and still riding the wave of confidence the Wildcats gained from knocking off top-seeded South in a Division I sectional championship last spring.
Second-year head coach Pat McKinley hopes those returning players, along with several newcomers, can continue to grow and come together as a team.
“We return four senior starters with three sophomores in the infield anchored by Gabriella Monastero at shortstop and two sophomores in the outfield playing next to senior center fielder Lauren Irwin,” McKinley said. “Pitching depth will be a concern as sophomore Mia Tudini continues to develop.”
The Wildcats entered the postseason last spring as the No. 8 seed with a 6-12 record. They went on to beat Cleveland Heights in the sectional semifinals then stunned the No. 1 seeded Rebels, 8-6, to win the sectional championship.
Their season came to an end with a 5-4 loss to No. 4 Chardon in the Division I Mentor District semifinals.
Mayfield has five seniors total who McKinley will lean on to provide leadership to the younger members of the team this season.
Clara Graves will handle most of the pitching duties this spring with Tudini offering relief. Megan McNelly, a fourth-year varsity player, will start the season on the disabled list due to offseason knee surgery. Her return is questionable.
Monastero, a Lakeland Community College commitment, will be at shortstop and Kennedy Coffey, a three-year varsity player, will split the catching duties with Shannon Biega, another senior who was named the team’s Most Improved player last spring.
McKinley also expects sophomore infielder Julia Arrietta to make an impact this season. She can play third or second base.