GCMS softball looks to start 2018 season this week

GIBSON CITY -- Only two players from last year's Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley High School softball team graduated last spring, leaving head coach Taylor Rubarts with some experienced girls this year.
“We have a lot of our returners back from last year," Rubarts said.
The Falcons still have some room to grow as they have nine sophomores on the roster this year.
“They've improved a lot since last season," Rubarts said.
One of GCMS's sophomores is Madi Eberle, who made the all-Heart of Illinois Conference second team last year as the Falcons' ace pitcher. 
“She has done a lot of work in the offseason, so we're really excited to see what she does offensively and as a pitcher this year," Rubarts said.
Mady Schutte started at third base toward the end of year for GCMS as well. 
“She hit really well," Rubarts said. "She's looking really good in that position.”
Lauren Leonard is a returning sophomore as well. 
“She's done a lot of work in the offseason on her hitting, so we're looking for her to do really great things in the outfield for us, as well as maybe as a designated hitter," Rubarts said
“We have a lot of girls who are just doing a really good job and working extremely hard to fill in the rest of those gaps that we're missing, so we're excited to see who steps up and fills those once games start.”
The Falcons have one senior -- Hailey Rutledge.
“We're looking for her to do really good things offensively for us as well as play a really solid outfield position for us," Rubarts said.
The Falcons also have three juniors, including shortstop Makenzi Bielfeldt 
“I'm looking for really good things from her,” Rubarts said. 
Megan Moody returns for her junior season at the center-field position. 
“It'll be nice to have her in that leadoff position, possibly, as well as commanding our outfield,” Rubarts said. 
Dani Eckerty, who was an outfielder last year, will be returning for her junior season as well 
“She hit the ball really well, so we're looking for good things out of her as well," Rubarts said. “All three of them played some really good innings last year.”
The Falcons were scheduled to start their season Monday at Donovan, but the game was canceled due to inclement weather. They are scheduled to play at Bloomington Central Catholic at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.
“We'll see how that goes," Rubarts said Monday.
If GCMS is able to face BCC, it would be a rematch of last year's IHSA Class 2A Stanford Olympia Regional semifinals, in which the Saints won 2-0 to end the Falcons' season with a record of 11-13.
"We competed really well with BCC in the regional last year, so if we're able to get that game in tomorrow, that would be one to look forward to," Rubarts said.
The Falcons, according to Rubarts, are aiming higher this season.
“It's challenging, but the girls have been working extremely hard. Our practices have been positively competitive. Everybody's striving for that same goal of wanting to compete in that regional championship this year," Rubarts said. 
"They want to compete in our really strong conference. Everybody's been super-competitive and pushing each other to get better. It has been really nice. It's hard to see how we're going to be when we haven't been outside yet, but the girls are making do with what we can and are doing a really good job.”
At 10 a.m. Saturday, GCMS is scheduled to host a triangular outing against Rantoul and Decatur Eisenhower.
“Hopefully, we'll get some good weather this weekend and get some games in," Rubarts said.
The Falcons are also scheduled to host St. Joseph-Ogden at 4:30 p.m. Monday, March 19.
“Those games against St. Joe are always a really good test to see where you stand," Rubarts said.
The Falcons' conference schedule starts with a game on Monday, April 2, at Fisher. GCMS is also schedule to face HOIC opponent Tremont on the road on Wednesday, April 4, before hosting LeRoy on Friday, April 6.
“It'll be a really good test once we start playing conference games to see where we level up," Rubarts said. "We are young, but with a lot back, it'll be nice to be able to see how we compare from last year and how we're competing more this year with those teams.”
Categories (3):Prep Sports, Softball, Sports


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