Home Sports Bobby Narang’s top 10 softball teams and 25 players to watch in Lake County for the 2023 season

Bobby Narang’s top 10 softball teams and 25 players to watch in Lake County for the 2023 season

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1. Antioch (30-4): Talent is everywhere on the roster for the Sequoits, who are one of the best teams in the state regardless of class, if a few games are any indication. Outfielder Eden Echevarria (Wisconsin) is among the best players in the country. Pitcher Jacey Schuler (Michigan State) led the Sequoits to a third-place medal in Class 3A last season.

2. Warren (24-8): The Blue Devils have the ingredients — like solid pitching and good defense — to make a run at the Class 4A state title. Eight starters are back, including pitcher Sydney Jackson (Winona State), outfielder Gabi Olavarria (St. Leo) and infielder Hannah Conger.


3. Carmel (16-13): The Corsairs bring back a wealth of talent after finishing second in the East Suburban Catholic Conference last season. Infielder/catcher Grace Brown, pitcher/infielder Madison DeBennette (Wisconsin-Whitewater) and outfielders Kaylie McKenna and Camryn Rapplean are among the top returnees.

4. Wauconda (24-8): The Bulldogs’ main competition will be Antioch — again. Wauconda lost two of three games to the Sequoits last season, including the sectional final, but welcome back plenty of firepower, namely outfielder Bryn Lucht, catcher/infielder Savannah Powers and infielder Lia Taglia.


5. Grant (19-13-1): The Bulldogs are looking to build off last season, when they won their first regional title since 1994. They have significant talent back with pitcher Shelby Wasilewski (Montana State), shortstop Sofia DeAngelis and emerging outfielder Kaylin Worley.

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6. Vernon Hills (19-15-1): An experienced pitching staff leads the Cougars, who won the Central Suburban North title last season. Infielder/outfielder Emma O’Flaherty and shortstop Amanda Teschky are the big bats in the lineup.

Waukegan’s Maggie Webster pitches against Warren during a Class 4A Glenbrook North Sectional semifinal on Wednesday, June 1, 2022.

7. Libertyville (18-17): The Wildcats have plenty of experience to lean on after finishing second in the North Suburban Conference, like pitcher Finnley Olsen and infielder/outfielder Samantha Whisenand, and a young talent in infielder/outfielder Adriana Callahan.

8. Stevenson (10-15): The Patriots endured some growing pains with a tough schedule in 2022. Third baseman Michaela Duffy (St. Mary’s), first baseman Hailey Langer and outfielder Abbie Lewis are the mainstays on a talented and motivated team.

9. Waukegan (10-13): Five starters are back for the Bulldogs. Maggie Webster (Rock Valley), Ava Burke (Ave Maria) and Mia Carani (Milwaukee Area Tech) provide optimism for a winning season.

10. Mundelein (11-15): The Mustangs aim for a winning season with a good mixture of young and experienced players. Pitcher/outfielder Claire Connelly and infielder Makenna Wolf lead the way.

Bella Bosquez, Lake Zurich, senior, outfielder; Rori Browne, Deerfield, senior, center fielder; Emily Brecht, Antioch, senior, infielder; Grace Brown, Carmel, sophomore, infielder/catcher; Symphany Carrington, Zion-Benton, junior, catcher; Hannah Conger, Warren, junior, infielder; Claire Connelly, Mundelein, sophomore, pitcher/outfielder; Madison DeBennette, Carmel, senior, pitcher; Michaela Duffy, Stevenson, senior, third baseman; Eden Echevarria, Antioch, senior, infielder/outfielder; Brooke Goyings, Lakes, senior, second baseman; Sydney Jackson, Warren, senior, pitcher; Bryn Lucht, Wauconda, senior, outfielder; Emma O’Flaherty, Vernon Hills, senior, infielder/outfielder; Gabi Olavarria, Warren, senior, outfielder; Finnley Olsen, Libertyville, senior, pitcher; Eliza Piggott, Grayslake Central, junior, catcher; Savannah Powers, Wauconda, senior, catcher/infielder; Bella Ranallo, Lake Forest, senior, infielder; Jacey Schuler, Antioch, junior, pitcher; Lia Taglia, Wauconda, senior, infielder; Amanda Teschky, Vernon Hills, senior, shortstop; Shelby Wasilewski, Grant, senior, pitcher; Maggie Webster, Waukegan, senior, pitcher; Samantha Whisenand, Libertyville, senior, infielder/outfielder.

Bobby Narang is a freelance reporter for the News-Sun.

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