Softball: River Rats field quality, depth for 2017 season

The Ann Arbor Huron softball team is excited and ready to roll in the 2017 season. The River Rats have a dynamic mix of veterans and newcomers and Coach Tom Kent expects meaningful contributions from the entire 12-player roster.

Huron has two four-year starters returning: seniors Grace Kent and Kara Wilson (team captains).

“Grace pitches and Kara is a versatile athlete who plays multiple positions,” said Kent, now in his sixth year as head coach.

Wilson will be attending the University of Illinois-Chicago to play basketball next year.

“We also have our leading hitter from a year ago returning (junior Dani DiGiovine) who hit close to .500 last year to earn All-Conference honorable mention honors as a sophomore in 2016,” Kent said. “Our other junior returning starter is outfielder Lexi Specht who came on strong at the end of 2016.”
The team’s underclassmen features sophomore returning varsity starters and pitcher/catcher combination Micah Higa and Celia Kent. They are joined by first-year varsity sophomore Shelby Harris, who “we expect will be a formidable left-handed power hitter this year,” Kent said.  “We have also solidified our infield with two freshman expected to see significant playing time (Sami Ruud and Florida transplant Karli Messer). All of our underclassmen have significant summer club softball experience and are expected to immediately contribute.”

Also expected to contribute to the River Rats are first-year varsity players Anna Bayne and Anna Weigel along with returning varsity player Sara Soroka.

Huron has not won a league (SEC Red) championship in over 30 years, and has only one District title since 2000.

“The program is gaining strength with talented and dedicated young players and we hope to be competitive and establish a new winning softball tradition,” Kent said.

The River Rats open on April 17 at home against Skyline.

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