2023 Mercury Softball Team-By-Team Preview

PAC Liberty Division


Coach: Kim Musselman, 7th season

Last season’s record: 7-3 Liberty, 12-4 PAC, 16-5 overall, PAC Champion, District 1-6A second round

Players to watch: Victoria Butler, Sr., OF; Ella Hurter, Jr., P/1B; Lauren Homa, Jr. IF/C; Kyra Neiswender, So. IF/C; Aubrey Gilbert, So. OF, Alexis Laboy, Jr. IF.

Outlook: With six seniors and most of its starting lineup graduated, Boyertown will be younger, but loaded with talent to pursue another PAC title. Junior Ella Hurter looks to build off a promising year as a Mercury All-Area second team pitcher where she was lights out while delivering the Bears the PAC championship.

The Bears will look to sophomore Kyra Neiswender to anchor the infield while junior Lauren Homa and senior Victoria Butler both add experience to the lineup. Boyertown is coming off its first PAC title since 2011 and will be right in contention to try and repeat.

“We are optimistic for a successful season but need to keep developing and working together in order to compete against the tough PAC competition,” Musselman said. “This team had a taste of success last year and looks to use that experience to drive us this year.”


Coach: Lee Terry, 1st season

Last season’s record: 4-6 Liberty, 8-8 PAC, 9-11 overall

Players to watch: Riley Kairer, Sr., CF; Avery Schwartz, Sr., 2B/SS; Meg Lineen, Sr., P/1B; Caroline Cherekos, Sr., C; Courtney Freese, Jr., P.

Outlook: The two main cogs in Methacton’s machine are three-year starters (no freshman season due to COVID-19) Riley Kairer in center field and Avery Schwartz at second base/shortstop. Kairer is a UMass commit while Schwartz is bound for Gwynedd Mercy, both being natural leaders for the Warriors.

Caroline Cherekos is a senior catcher committed to Seton Hill while Meg Lineen and Courtney Freese make up the pitching staff.

Lee Terry takes over for longtime coach Cathy Miller. He is joined by varsity assistant coach Stephanie Pijanowski, who played and coached at Albright, as well as JV coach Meghan Brogan, who coached at Conestoga and Downingtown West and is in the ASA Hall of Fame.

“We seem like a very athletic team,” Terry said. “Pitching will be, like everybody else, we’ll go as far as our pitching goes.”


Coach: Jacob Echevarria, 2nd season

Last season’s record: 0-10 Liberty, 3-13 PAC, 5-14 overall

Players to watch: Ryan Morse, Sr., OF/P; Isabella Pastella, Sr., SS; Riley Logan, Jr., 2B; Gianna Pino-Ramseur, Jr., P/Util; Alana Echevarria So., 3B; Camryn Holmes So., C.

Outlook: Jacob Echevarria’s first year at the helm of Norristown’s program saw improvement following a one-win season. Seven returning starters will lead the Eagles this spring, highlighted by senior pitcher/outfielder Ryan Morse.

“Looking to improve from last year’s record, we should be able to produce runs with a more balanced lineup,” Echevarria said. “We need to be more consistent with our defense to stay away from big innings which hurt us last year.”

Owen J. Roberts

Coach: Steve Winnick, 2nd season

Last season’s record: 7-3 Liberty, 13-3 PAC, 15-4 overall, PAC semifinalist, District 1-6A second round

Players to watch: Natalie Alldred, Sr., P/1B; Sophia Cerimele, Jr., 1B; Olivia Egan, Sr., C/OF; Rachel Epps, So., SS; Sophia Grillo, Sr., C/OF; Liza Flavin, So., 3B; Hayden Streeter, Sr., OF; Jacqueline Skonieczny, So., 2B.

Outlook: Pitching will be a point of focus with Natalie Alldred coming off injury and Owen J. Roberts’ backup having graduated. Alldred had a strong junior season, garnering Mercury All-Area first team honors. Notable graduations of Sophia Winnick and Emmie Feltenberger will leave room for players to step up at the first base and shortstop positions.

“We have a strong group of underclassmen who played significant innings for us last season, as well as new faces who will strengthen our team overall,” Winnick said.

Perkiomen Valley

Coach: John Pascucci, 3rd season

Last season’s record: 2-8 Liberty, 8-8 PAC, 10-10 overall, District 1-6A first round

Players to watch: Bella Reedy, Jr., P/IF; Audrey Powers, Jr., P/OF; Maci Strechay, So., P/OF.

Outlook: The Vikings have a strong pitching staff heading into the season. Perkiomen Valley has a notable graduation in first baseman Ella Strechay, who garnered Mercury All-Area second team honors in her senior season.

“If we can cut down on strikeouts and put the ball in play, we will contend with every team in the district,” Pascucci said.


Coach: Shawn Corropolese, 1st season

Last season’s record: 10-0 Liberty, 16-0 PAC, 24-3 overall, PAC semifinalist, District 1-6A fourth place, PIAA-6A champion

Players to watch: Morgan Lester, Sr., 2B; Ellie Jarrell, Sr., CF; Jess Fliszar, So., P; Riley Gancasz, Jr., SS; Caitlin Ashley Jr., OF/DH.

Outlook: The Rams are coming off their first PIAA Class 6A title in program history — the first PAC team to win a state final — and return much of their talent from last year’s state championship run. Second baseman Morgan Lester, third baseman Gracie Carlin, DP Caitlin Ashley and utility Riley Gancasz are all returning Mercury All-Area first team selections.

Sophomore Jess Fliszar, who has some varsity experience, will take over pitching duties with Juliana Scogna (St. Joseph’s) graduated. Longtime assistant Shawn Corropolese takes over head coaching duties in place of Tim Hughes.

“We are looking to compete for another PAC championship and also working toward our end goal which is returning to the state championship,” Corropolese said. “We are returning a handful of contributing players from last season but overall very young.”

PAC Frontier Division


Coach: Claire Emplit, 5th season

Last season’s record: 6-4 Frontier, 7-9 PAC, 9-10 overall, District 1-5A second round

Players to watch: Abby Boylan, Fr., P; Gabby Cappelli, Jr.; Olivia Jacketti, So., OF; Alexandra Henn, Fr., 3B.

Outlook: Phoenixville will be under a complete overhaul after graduating 12 seniors. The Phantoms will be developing the majority of their fielders with freshman pitcher Abby Boylan in the circle.

“Phoenixville will focus on developing fundamentals and winning by doing the little things well,” Emplit said. “The team is young but eager to show what they are capable of.”

Pope John Paul II

Coach: Joe Ottaviano, 3rd season

Last year’s record: 4-6 Frontier, 4-12 PAC, 5-13 overall

Players to watch: Sarah Bell, Sr., OF; Molly Houchins, So., IF; Abigale Millhouse, So., P/SS; Abby Simmers, So., P/2B/CF.

Outlook: The Golden Panthers have missed the District 1-4A tournament the last couple seasons, coming up just one game short of qualifying two seasons ago. Pope John Paul II retains All-Frontier second team outfielder Sarah Bell along with young talent in its underclassmen. Notable departures include first baseman Kelsey Bryant and catcher Ally Hourigan, both All-Frontier first team seniors last year.


Coach: Jessica Bedard, 7th season

Last season’s record: 6-4 Frontier, 7-9 PAC, 9-12 Overall, District 1-5A first round

Players to watch: Mikayla Eckman, Jr., 1B/P; Lizzie McAllister, Jr., 3B; Avery Gleason, Jr., 1B/P; Bailey Pysher, Jr., C; Emily Dougherty, Sr., SS.

Outlook: Pottsgrove has a wealth of upperclassmen leadership in Lizzie McAllister, Mikayla Eckman, Avery Gleason, Bailey Pysher and Emily Dougherty. The experienced group looks to contend for the PAC Frontier title in 2023.

“Pottsgrove has a core group of returners this season with experience,” Bedard said. “Looking to make a statement in the Frontier Division of the PAC and qualify for districts again.”


Coach: Aaron Torrence, 1st season

Last season’s record: 0-10 Frontier, 0-16 PAC, 0-19 overall

Players to watch: Savannah Richards, Jr., SS; Ariana Gilmore, Sr., P/C.

Outlook: The Trojans are looking for their first win since before the COVID-19 pandemic. Junior shortstop Savannah Richards will lead that effort heading into the season with senior Ariana Gilmore in the circle. Aaron Torrence takes over the program as head coach after two as an assistant and three seasons coaching middle school. Torrence is joined by Dave Mabry on staff.

“This season has four seniors who have been together since seventh grade and we are looking forward to seeing how far they have progressed over their time at Pottstown,” Torrence said.

Upper Merion

Coach: Jim Godby, 2nd season

Last season’s record: 6-4 Frontier, 7-9 PAC, 9-10 overall

Players to watch: Marin Destefanio, Sr., 1B; Michelle Maas, Sr.; Reese Doan, Sr.; Ava Didonato, Jr., P; Emma Ricci, Jr., SS; Rebecca Shuler, Jr., OF; JoEllen Johnson, So., C; Molly Gilliland, So., 2B.

Outlook: Upper Merion made great strides in Jim Godby’s first year at the helm of the program last season following a 3-13 campaign. Vanessa Hutchinson is a notable departure in graduation, having been a Mercury All-Area second team outfielder.

“This year’s team will be more experienced than those in the previous couple of years,” Godby said. “With eight returning starters, we are hoping to have a promising year.”

Upper Perkiomen

Coach: Dean Sullivan, 8th Season

Last season’s record: 8-2 Frontier, 11-5 PAC, 15-10 overall, PAC runner-up, District 1 third-place, PIAA first-round

Players to watch: Madalyn Dyer, Sr., P; Elizabeth Proctor, Jr., IF; Darby Gasda, Jr, IF; Ashley Forrest, Jr., C; Kristina Molnar, Fr., Util; Maddie Deeble, Fr., Util.

Outlook: Having won five straight PAC Frontier titles, the Indians will pursue a sixth with Shippensburg commit and Mercury All-Area second teamer Madalyn Dyer back in the circle. Ashley Forrest will complete the battery.

Upper Perkiomen graduated a lot of infield talent last spring, highlighted by All-Mercury first team shortstop Dani Freer (Penn). Elizabeth Proctor, Darby Gasda and Kristina Molnar will be Upper Perkiomen’s core infield group the next couple years.

With Dyer being the only senior, newcomers Ryan Berg, Maddie Deeble and Kristina Molnar also look to fill important roles for a young squad.

“Expectations are high,” Sullivan said. “With Dyer on the mound, we will have a chance to compete in every game. Erin Gray and Ryan Berg will also be relied on to get some wins … Morgan Robinson, Genevieve MeKeehan and Riley Eden will give us depth and opportunities to move people around.”


Daniel Boone

Coach: Chris Weller, 2nd season

Last season’s record: 3-9 Berks I, 4-15 overall

Players to watch: Regan Stout, Jr., C; Jayda Kugler, Sr., SS; Taylor Cassner, Sr., P/1B.

Outlook: With just two seniors, the Blazers look to continue to rebuild in 2023.

“We lost four seniors last year, so we’ve got a fairly young team this year,” Weller said. “We’re looking to build and compete, even as a young team.”

Hill School

Coach: Jon McKee, 2nd Season

Last season’s record: 3-10 overall

Players to watch: Aryanna Bodge, sixth form, P/SS; Belle Dicampello, fifth form, C; Kelly Dempsey, sixth form, 3B/1B; Anna Cowan, fifth form, IF; Sammie Faella, third form, P/IF.

Outlook: Many players stepped up and gained valuable varsity experience in a season plagued by injury for the Blues. Nine starters return for Hill School in 2023.

“We need to stay healthy,” McKee said. “If we can stay healthy we have the potential to have a good season.”

Perkiomen School

Coach: Justin Sell, 5th year

Last season’s record: 11-2 overall, Penn-Jersey League Champion

Players to watch: Claudia Knowles, Jr., P; Kenna Tobin, So., C; Sofia Chwe, Sr., OF; Emily Lessard, Jr., Util; Ava Darvassy, Jr., 3B/1B.

Outlook: The expectations are high after the Panthers won their first Penn-Jersey League title since 2018 with seven returning players from that league championship run, as well as many newcomers to the sport.

The battery of Claudia Knowles and Kenna Tobin will be one of Perkiomen School’s greatest strengths heading into the spring, along with speed and aggressive baserunning.

“I am excited to coach this group of athletes, as many of them are new to the sport or new to our team,” Sell said. “We have only seven returning players from our Penn-Jersey Championship team last year. This will require a lot of athletes to step up and fill roles, and I am confident that we have the right people to do so. Our offense will be more focused on small-ball this year, along with aggressive baserunning.”

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