Patriots eye 2nd straight league title


Olentangy Liberty softball coach Ty Kashmiry has a scary message for OCC-Central Division foes heading into the 2022 season.

“Right now I would say we are the same team as last year with better pitching,” he said. “Lindsey (Leeds) has improved a lot, and if we can get consistent at the plate we will be better than last year. We won the league last year and have a lot of returners back … to win the title back-to-back is the players’ No. 1 goal.”

Leeds will again have a rock-solid defense behind her, too.

“Our team is very good defensively and their biggest strength is they are great communicators on the field,” Kashmiry said. “We have great leadership on our team. Our captains go through a 10-week leadership training program and they understand how important our culture is to the program.

“Our motto is ‘Stronger Together’, and no one player is bigger than the team.”

The infield is certainly stronger together as all six starters from a year ago, including Leeds and Chevalier, are back in the fold.

“Ashley is going to BG and hits in the three spot,” Kashmiry said. “We will look for her to provide power for the team, and we’ll be relying on Lindsey to carry us through the season. She was first-team all-league last year and will be attending Walsh next year.”

Senior Tyler Krohn is back at first base, sophomore Allie Motyka is a returning starter at second, junior Luci Matteo is back at shortstop and senior Lacy Thompson returns to her familiar spot at third.

Other returners include sophomore left fielder Allie Jenkins and sophomore centerfielder/pitcher Brooke Aberle, who was Honorable Mention all-league last spring as a freshman. Aberle will hit leadoff.

Finally, Kashmiry said junior Abbey Sells and freshmen Izzy Matteo and Ryann Kelly will also contribute. Sells will be a utility player, Izzy Matteo is a speedy lefty who can help in a variety of situations and Kelly is a power hitter.

After spring break, the Patriots are slated to take on rival Olentangy in non-league action Monday in Powell.

Olentangy Liberty’s Ashley Chevalier looks to make a play at the plate during a game last season in Powell. Liberty’s Ashley Chevalier looks to make a play at the plate during a game last season in Powell. Gazette | File

By Ben Stroup

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