Who needs a large group of seniors when you have more power and more speed this season?

The Fenwick softball team isn’t worried about having just two seniors on this year’s squad. The Friars have four starters back from last season, including four-year varsity starting center fielder Alex Tomasek and last year’s best hitter in Ashley Parenti. Tomasek, who will leadoff for the second year in a row, and first baseman Sam Carzoli are the only seniors on the team. As a freshman last season, Parenti led the squad in hits with 32 and was an All-East Suburban Catholic Conference selection. The second baseman batted to a .337 clip. Juniors Olivia Soja (pitcher) and Marisa Wakely (catcher) also return as Fenwick’s veterans on the team.

Soja pitched in eight of Fenwick’s 15 wins last season. She finished the season with a 4.17 ERA.

“[Olivia] is a very versatile pitcher with great movement and control,” said Fenwick head coach Jen Butler. “When she isn’t on the mound she will also be playing shortstop.”

Wakely has hit over .300 the last two seasons. She’s expected resume her role as starting catcher.

But Butler will also rely heavily on a young group of athletes that proved themselves last season by going 25-4 at the JV level. Those expected to see significant playing time include juniors Mary Grace Kenny (catcher), Sam Tartaglia (third base), Michaella Wright (second base), and sophomores Jessica Mrozek (pitcher), Jenna Cairo (left field) and Maggie Horn (infield).

“[Jessica] will be and impact player on the mound for us,” said Butler of Mrozek. “She has worked very hard in the off-season and improved her movement and speed. At the plate, she has significant power and will bat in the fourth or fifth spot in the order.”

Cairo adds speed to the Friars’ lineup, as do junior returners Sage Juveland and Deirdre Haefner.

“We have an even tougher schedule than last year, which will better prepare us for the state tournament and we look to go further than last year’s regional semifinal,” said Butler. “In addition, we continue to gain talent with the freshman class this year, so the future of the Fenwick softball program is bright.”

The Friars host Riverside-Brookfield for their home opener on March 26 (4:30 p.m.). They’ll travel to Trinity on April 11 and host cross-town rival OPRF on April 16. They open the season at De La Salle on Monday.

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Brad Spencer

Brad Spencer has been covering sports in and around Oak Park for more than a decade, which means the young athletes he once covered in high school are now out of college and at home living with their parents...