As winter turns to spring, the Lady Ghosts are preparing to bring softball back to Illinois Valley Central for another season.


As winter turns to spring, the Lady Ghosts are preparing to bring softball back to Illinois Valley Central for another season.

“We just want to give it 110 percent and let the chips fall where they may,” coach Mike Berchtold said. “But we feel like we’re ready for the season.”

Last year, the team finished with a 22-12 record but lost in the first game of the Regional to a hard-hitting and fast-pitching Farmington.

“We want to win the (North Central Illinois) conference this year,” Berchtold said. “Last year was the first year that we’ve been in the conference that we didn’t win it.”

Leading the Grey Ghosts this year is the lone senior, outfielder Brittany Noonen.

“I think she’ll be a leader, and she has really been working on that in practice,” Berchtold said.

The Ghosts will benefit this season from the pitching of all-conference sophomores Amy Berchtold and Jenna Noland.

“We have probably the best pitching staff that we have ever had,” Berchtold said. “We’re very strong up the middle and that’s good.”

IVC will also receive help from another all-conference member, junior catcher Ellen Pearson.

The other position players that the Ghosts will rely on include freshman utility player Grace Gould, junior first baseman Hannah McCorkle, junior centerfielder Shelby Sutherland, junior left fielder
Kathleen Gauwitz and junior shortstop Jessie Ely.

“Amy Berchtold and Ellen Pearson have both hit .400 their first two years so I think that we’ll be alright hitting the ball,” Berchtold said.

Not only will the team benefit from superior hitting and pitching, but the chemistry in the dugout may be what pushes the Ghosts further than last year.

“Right now, our biggest strength is team bonding,” Berchtold said. “I brought my daughter (Rachael Mullen) in to help coach, and the girls have seemed to be really taken to what she says.
Right now, everyone seems to be in team mode.”

The team is scheduled to start the season at 4:15 p.m. today at home against El Paso.

The Ghosts next play at 4:15 p.m. Thursday at home against Illini Bluffs.