Story by Katie Berger, Northeast Public Relations
NORFOLK, NE – As the Northeast Community College softball team prepares for its third season, Coach Iris Woodhead said she expects to see strong leadership among her returning sophomores.
“We’ve lost some power in our sophomores from last season, but we bring back a great freshman class that led us very well last year,” Woodhead said. “I look to them to do the same this season. We were able to show some grit last year and outlast some teams to earn some big-time wins, but we were also able to learn from our late game failures.”
“This year we look to use that wisdom to compete all seven innings. We had a great fall in which our freshman class competed well for us.”
Northeast went 25-33 overall last spring and finished 13-15 in conference play, fifth in the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference (ICCAC) Division II standings.
Returning sophomores include Teanne Edens, Hopland, CA; Jade Long, Beatrice; Moriah Payton, McCook; Savannah Robertson, Columbus; and Emily Sherstone, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada.
Edens was named ICCAC second team all-region pitcher last season. She compiled a 20-17 record, which included 216 strikeouts and a 3.83 earned run average. She also had a .305 batting average, 62 hits, 52 RBIs and 15 home runs.
“It’s great to have Teanne back on the mound for us,” Woodhead said. “She was a valuable resource for us last year, and with a larger pitching staff this year, we should be well-supported.”
Last season, Infielder Robertson was also named to the ICCAC All-Region second team. She posted a .432 batting average, 105 hits, 29 doubles, four home runs and 60 RBIs in 407 total chances with a .993 fielding percentage.
“Sav was a natural leader for us last year,” Woodhead said. “As a leadoff hitter, she gave us many quality at-bats and was able to get one base four lineup to score, as well as hit runners in. I would look for her to have another tremendous season.”
Long, also an infielder, recorded a .345 batting average, .464 on-base percentage, 41 hits, 11 doubles, 30 RBIs and 22 base-on-balls.
“Jade was hurt for most of the season last year,” Woodhead said. “She played shortstop with a broken finger and made some unbelievable plays. She has some outstanding willpower, and we will look for Jade to lead us on the field again this year.”
The freshman players on the Northeast roster this year include Alayna Allen, Columbus; Emilia Carlos, Cozad; Jordan Egan, Pahrump, NV; Rosario Garcia, Northglenn, CO; Chandler Hehnke, Grand Island; and Inese Uribe, Riverside, CA.
The Hawks’ have also added two sophomore transfers to their roster this year. Mariah Jensen, Gresham, will join Northeast from Doane College. Tera Paczosa and Shyanne Sutton, both of Genoa, have transferred from College of Saint Mary.
Gregg Dahlheim serves as assistant coach.
The Hawks’ first home game is set for Saturday, February 24, when they take on North Platte Community College in a doubleheader at 2 and 4 p.m. All home games will be played at the softball complex at Ta-Ha-Zouka Park in Norfolk.