News-Gazette prep softball top 10: A few teams begin play, others keep waiting

Mar. 18—1. Tuscola 1-0 Warriors walked off against Maroa-Forsyth to begin their season, after being mercy-ruled by the Trojans last season. They're led by Division I softball signees Ella Boyer, Izzy Wilcox.

2. Mahomet-Seymour 0-0 Bulldogs lost some key athletes from last year's Class 3A fourth-place finisher but still possess talented players like Madeleine Cortez, Kenadi Granadino and Maddie Logsdon.

3. Unity 1-0 Rockets have gotten campaign started in Jackson, Tenn. Another squad with significant graduations, after placing third in Class 2A last season, they're powered by Reece Sarver and Ruby Tarr.

4. Villa Grove 1-0 Blue Devils are fairly young, with just two seniors on their roster, but there is plenty of softball experience from Maci Clodfelder, Logan Lillard, Alexandria Brown and Alison Pangburn.

5. Westville 1-0 Tigers always can rely on their all-around superstar, junior Abby Sabalaskey, to come up big. Returning teammates Ariel Clarkston and Lani Gondzur will help amid an influx of freshmen.

6. Salt Fork 2-0 Storm stunned St. Joseph-Ogden on walk-off to begin the season before thumping rival BHRA. At the forefront early on are Kendyl Hurt, Kailey Frischkorn, Alexa Jamison and Macie Russell.

7. St. Joseph-Ogden 1-1 Spartans recovered from that loss to Salt Fork by bouncing Tri-Valley. They have a potent 1-2 punch in Shayne Immke and Peyton Jones, while Alyssa Acton will serve as a key pitcher.

8. ALAH 1-0 Knights bested Rantoul to start spring slate. Senior captains Alisha Frederick, Charley Condill, Kailee Otto and Kaci Beachy will be looked to for leadership among an otherwise young lineup.

9. Champaign Central 0-0 Maroons ended last season with some struggles after a strong start. Athletes like Kaitlyn Helm, Tayten Hunter and Alison Williams will be tasked with trying to resume the good times.

10. Le Roy 2-0 Panthers cruised past Oakwood and Arcola by a combined ledger of 30-2 to open season. Haley Cox, Lilly Long, Laila Carr, Molly Buckles, Natalie Loy and Morgan Fleming have stood out.