Fastpitch Chronicle Pre-Season Team Outlook
Monroe - Division 2 - Enrollment 723
Head Coach Joe O’Leksy 3 years, Career Varsity Record 63-17 (25 years coaching softball at Monroe HS)
2019 division 2 State Runners Up, 1 Sectional, 2 Regional and 2 Conference Championships.
Assistant coaches" Noel Herbst (19 yrs.) Donna Skogen (15 yrs.) and Tom Witt JV (1st year)
Monroe High School: State Championships 1, Runners up 5, State Final Fours 8
Monroe looks to compete for their third straight conference title in the tough Badger South, and a return trip to State. The Cheesemakers return seven of nine starters from last season’s 23-5 team led by junior shortstop Sydney Updike a two-time WFSCA All-State Selection (.422, .455 OBA, 30 R, 10 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR and 26 RBI’s). Updike will be joined on the diamond by senior first baseman Grace Tostrud (.427, .467 OBA, 10 2B, 4 HR, and 34 RBI’s), junior catcher Katie Hayes (.365, .390 OBA, 5 2B, 4 HR and 21 RBI’s), junior leadoff hitter and second baseman Alyse Maurer (.354, .456 OBA, 16 BB, 4 2B, 3 3B, 1 HR, and 32 Runs), junior third basemen Lizzie Snider (.321 .390 OBA, 11 BB, 4 2B, and 16 RBI’s), sophomore outfielder Sloane Ambrose (.351, .400 OBA, and 13 RBI’s) and junior outfielder Sarah Prien (.250 6 2B, 1 HR, and 12 RBI’s). With ¾ of last year’s runs, hits, extra base hits, and RBI producers back, Monroe looks to put some runs on the scoreboard in 2020. The Cheese will not have a traditional power pitcher, as in the past, but will have six solid pitchers available to go into the circle. We will rotate pitchers often in each game to keep teams off balance, maybe every two innings if things go well. The plan is to walk few batters, play excellent defense, and hit the heck out of the ball at the plate. With this approach, and our always challenging schedule, it will hopefully give the Cheesemakers an opportunity to make a return visit to State.
Badger South outlook- Top Teams: Milton, Monroe, Oregon and a dark horse in Edgewood. Milton (18-7) is an excellent hitting team and they return 1st team junior pitcher Erika Reif, Oregon (15-9) is a solid team defensively, and returns junior catcher Megan Bloyer 1st team, and a very good pitcher in Kennedy Nelson 2nd team, Edgewood (12-10) will return a solid battery of junior catcher Leah Jakusz and senior pitcher Michelle Schmitt. Watertown might have graduated a ton of seniors, but don’t count them out because their coach, Patty Jansen, will make sure they are more than competitive. Fort Atkinson, Monona Grove and Stoughton all have enough good players to surprise any of the top teams.
Division 2 Sectionial #3 (Big Foot) has some very good teams. Jefferson leads the list with a great hitting team, led by senior shortstop Kylee Lukes (Rock Valley Conference Player of the Year and All State), and solid pitching. West Salem has an excellent young team led by power hitting senior All State catcher Abbie Cavadini, along with Whitewater and East Troy. Edgewood should be in the mix along with traditional powers like Portage and McFarland. As always, if Monroe is going to make it to State, they will have to earn it one game at a time.