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    A new coach and a young roster will challenge Madison’s softball team this spring but the young Blue Streaks are ready to compete.

    The Blue Streaks finished 16-9 a season ago but return just three starters from that squad.

    “We are a young team this year and will go through a lot of growing pains,” said first-year Madison coach Eric Cottrell. “I expect us to be able to compete in every game we play this year and surprise a lot of teams this year.”

    The first order of business is finding a replacement for graduated standout Alyssa Lavdis in the circle.

    Freshman Kara Mekulsia will throw the majority of innings this season with junior Emili Blackie providing depth.

    The Blue Streaks also have an entirely new outfield with Chloe McGinnis in left, Madelyn Ebersbach in center, and Lexiss Arietta in right field.

    “We are young in the circle this year and all new outfielders, but our freshman pitcher is up to the challenge,” Cottrell said.

    Blackie, one of the top power hitters in the area, returns at first base. Tahja Brown will play second, Lexie Nicholson returns at shortstop, and Savannah Watren will play third. Riley Wilber will catch.

    “We are returning one of the area’s leading home run hitters in Emili Blackie combined with Lexie Nicholson leadoff hitting and speed on the bags with Maddie Ebersbach and Savannah Watren,” Cottrell said. “Also with the leadership of Riley Wilber and Tahja Brown, we hope to build on Madison’s success.”

    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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