Time looks to be Fenwick softball's advantage this season.
The Friars are coming off a 13-20 season where a young squad had to battle to hold its own against 12 ranked teams. With the new year arrives experience, and that's what second-year head coach Bill Monaco is banking on this season.
"This team should have stability now that it's older. We took our knocks against some good teams last year, and I feel we've improved since then," said coach Monaco. "The team is more experienced now."
The Friars will be led by three starting seniors in Mia Pisapia, Megan Musselman, and Jaime Loomis.
Pisapia retains her position in centerfield, while Musselman takes leftfield and Loomis bides her time between first and second base.
But most of Fenwick's success this season will need to come from its crop of experienced juniors. Eleanor Comiskey will take the mound again this season. The righthander went 11-17 with an ERA of 2.95 last season. Comiskey is also one of Fenwick's top hitters. She batted .295 last season and led the team in RBIs with 24.
Brigit Lally, who as a freshman last season led the team in hitting, moves from catcher to short stop this year. Lally batted .373 last year with 14 RBIs.
Junior Jill Formanski will likely bat fourth and play third base.
Newcomer Courtney Monaco joins the team this season as a freshman. Monaco played for the Oak Park Windmills team that finished 17th in the ASA Nationals.
The Friars will need to improve on hitting this season if they have any chance at making a run in the East Suburban Catholic Conference or the postseason. Fenwick finished 4-14 in the ESCC last season, and were ousted from the playoffs by cross-town rival OPRF.
"Hitting is something we've been working immensely on," said coach Monaco. "We need to get runners on base and make things happen."
The Friars are scheduled to host St. Ignatius on Monday (4:30 p.m.), weather permitting.
Key returners: Jaime Loomis, Megan Musselman, Mia Pisapia
2004 record (finish): 13-20, lost to OPRF in postseason
Outlook: They are older and wiser, but can the Friars hit this season?
Coach's quote: "I see this team having a breakthrough this season."