The 2019 Cascade Cougar softball squad concluded their season at 15-16 (8-10 RVC) after losing to Northeast (20-14) in the quarterfinals of the IGHSAU Class 2A, Region 6, July 10.
The summer’s high point was arguably when the Cougars upset Class 2A, No. 3 ranked Jesup, 4-3, on the road back June 17. Two days later, Cascade fell, 10-8, in a close matchup with Class 2A, No. 11 Wilton. The Cougars put together two separate five-game win streaks to both kick off and cap the month of June.
The season saw the Cougars make some vast improvements across the board with their hitting — but also take a few steps back with their collective pitching performances
Leading the team in hits was eighth-grade standout Devin Simon with 42. The third-baseman was a consistent force across the diamond for the Cougars, finishing her first season with a .416 average with 43 runs, 17 RBIs, two home runs and going 26-for-28 on stolen base attempts.
Senior Morgan Kremer batted .491 and was the Cougars’ premier power-hitter with 30 RBIs, 40 hits, 14 doubles and six home runs. The first baseman struck out just eight times and drew 11 walks in 93 at-bats.
Senior Whitney Clemens (.424, 24 RBI, two home runs) was another consistent force at catcher after missing the majority of her junior campaign due to injury. Seniors Addy Weber (.250, 16 RBI), Madison Gehl (.272, 12 RBI) and sophomore Taylor Menster (.263, 12 stolen bases) added depth from the plate.
One of the summer’s biggest surprises came when junior Sam Recker earned a spot in the starting lineup. She finished the year with a team-best mark of 7-2, throwing 73 innings for an ERA of 3.85. She struck out 35, walked 10 and also tallied a save.
Lidia Boffeli (60 ⅓ IP, 6.73 ERA, 24 strikeouts) and Hailey Hannan (62 ⅔ IP, 5.47 ERA, 32 strikeouts) also put in time from the circle.
The Cougars will lose six seniors to graduation — Kremer, Clemens, Weber, Gehl, Boffeli and Mae Felton.
“Our upperclassmen did a lot to help the team at the front of our lineup, with Clemens and Kremer doing a lot of great things as power hitters and leading our younger players,” head coach Ron Lehman said.
Simon, Menster, Recker, Boffeli and Julia Ludwig, Shannon Morris and Jess Hoffman will look to carry the torch next summer and beyond.
“Simon (leading off for us) really set the tone for much of the summer, too,” Lehman added of his top returning player. ”I’ve been around the game for over 20 years now. To come up at that age, you need a special kind of ability,” Lehman said. “We saw her play before she joined the team here, we knew she was going to be a good one. She already is a good one.”