Shadyside softball undergoing a youth movement


Times Leader Sports Writer

SHADYSIDE — The youth movement is on for the Shadyside softball program.

Of the 16 players on the roster, only two are seniors and one a junior. There are seven sophomores and half-a-dozen freshmen. The seniors — Kylie Jo Baker (SS/P) and Tory Hendershot (C) — are the only letterwinners on the team, with both earning three letters already.

However, Jillian Ongley, in her 16th season as the Lady Tigers head coach, is optimistic.

“The girls are really excited to get back on the field after last season was taken away from them. Kylie Jo and Tory will be great senior leaders for this very young squad,” she said. “The rest of the starting lineup will be freshmen and sophomores.”

Baker and Hendershot have been in the starting lineup since the first game of their freshmen season. Both were standouts on the regional volleyball team, while Hendershot also competed in the regionals in basketball.

The lone junior is Autumn Ruza (OF).

Sophomores include Gentry Brown (3B, Util); Mary Smith (2B/P); Mady Violet (3B/OF); Isabella Honeywell (1B); Heather Good (OF); Payton Bommer (C/OF) and Rylie Fulton (P/Util).

The freshmen are Taylor Fulton (P,Util); Makenzie Zdunczyk (3B/OF); Abby Gorrell (2B/OF); Adrianna Abernathy (OF); Macy Hendershot (1B/OF) and Keirstin Zeroski (2B/OF).

“This is a great group of girls that have a lot of softball knowledge,” Ongley noted.

“That will definitely be a strength.”

The veteran head coach, who led the Orange-and-Black to the Division IV state championship in 2015, isn’t worried about the youth.

“Although the girls are young, most of them have played softball for years,” she said.

Lost to graduation were a group of four girls who didn’t get to take the field for their senior campaigns. They were Madison Davis, Brooke Reager, Mattie Reiman and Alexandria Gregan.

Ongley is assisted by Dave Ragase, Amy Games and Kenzie Fielding, who was a member of that state championship squad six years ago.

Shadyside has 24 games scheduled, with half of them at home. The Lady Tigers open up at River on March 29. Their home opener is the next night as Monroe Central visits the Mead Township Park Complex.


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