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home : sports : today's n-t sports   April 29, 2016

3/19/2013 11:48:00 AM
Bureau Valley softball preview: Storm hope to improve this season


Chris Yucus
NewsTribune Photographer



This year’s Bureau Valley girls softball squad will feature a youth movement.

“We’re relatively young with five freshman and sophomores starting this year,” explains Storm coach Brian Humphrey, in his eighth season at the helm of the program.

But that’s not to say the Storm, who finished 15-15 overall and 7-7 in the Three Rivers Athletic Conference before dropping a 1-0 decision to Rock Falls in the regional semifinals last spring, will be without veteran leadership.

That varsity savvy will be led this spring by Illinois Coaches Association second-team All-State second baseman Emily Phillips.

Philips set the table for BV in the No. spot last year with a .485 batting average, 36 runs and 31 stolen bases while earning Three Rivers All-Conference honors and a spot on NewsTribune All-Area second-team.

Lending some additional experience to the squad will be fellow four-year starter Brandi DeWaele at third base and on the pitching rubber. Classmate Susan Brummel will sprinkle in some extra veteran seasoning as she returns to a starting role in the outfield.

Also coming back to the Storm lineup this spring will be a pair of sophomores who started all of last season on the varsity level, outfielder Caitlyn Scot and pitcher/first baseman Irini Petros.

Not only is this year’s team young, it’s truly a family affair.

Making their varsity debuts as starters this spring will be Emily Phillips’ younger sister freshman Ashley, who will play anywhere in the middle of the field, from centerfield to shortstop to catcher depending on the circumstance as well as freshman twins Dana and Darcy Kepner. The Kepners will provide an instant battery for BV with Darcy pitching and Dana catching behind the plate.

Rounding out the roster will be seven juniors in outfielders Shannon Reuter, Kalie Rumbold, and Alissa Stoller and utility players Lacey DeVenney, Ali Fairbanks, Michelle Vainowski and Shelby Weborg.

Humphrey will have assistant coach Bill Phillips, father to Emily and Ashley as well as former Storm standout Anna Phillips, and former MLB All-Star pitcher Dan Kolb — who will be head fresh-soph coach — on his coaching staff this spring.

“We hope to finish in the upper half of the conference and .500 overall,” Humphrey said.

Chris Yucus can be reached at 220-6995 or at sports@newstrib.com Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsChris.












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