AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Fitch’s 2022 season came to an end against Hoover (5-3) in the Regional Final. The Falcons won the District and topped Brecksville-Broadview Heights in the Sweet 16 (5-2).

This spring, Fitch looks to be on the path back to playing for another district title.

“We are working every day to improve that 1% better so we can maximize our strengths into a productive team,” coach Steve Ward said. “We expect our players and staff to focus on the process.”

Sydnie Watts returns for her sophomore campaign after being honored as the All-AAC Player of the Year and ranked in the top ten nationally among the class of 2025. As a freshman, she belted 11 homers and batted .526 while striking out 314 batters throughout the season.

Ayla Ray led the Falcons with a .591 batting average. The all-league junior has verballed to play collegiately at Youngstown State.

Two-year starters McKenna Hogan and Caitlin Mitchell both have committed to play at Notre Dame College in Cleveland. Hogan is the team’s catcher and Mitchell is Fitch’s second baseman.

A pair of seniors Madi Beaudis (RF) and Ashlee McLean (CF) will be roaming the outfield this spring. McLean has committed to Ursuline College and she recently set the female lifting record for power clean at 175 pounds. Rachel Spalding and Samantha Severn are both returning letter winners as they’ll be competing for an outfield spot.

Samantha Heinz, Christina Montgomery and Madison Haynie will loom to earn a varsity position while Julia Wileman seeks to back up Watts in the circle.

The coaching staff looks favorably on a quartet of freshmen in Kylie Folkwein, Abby Toth, Lily Stevens and Alyssa Rodgers. “We feel they all are high-level players,” Ward said. “They have the ability to play at the next level.”

“We’re returning five starters,” added Ward. “The experience they gained last year including a heavy travel summer schedule helps us have confidence in our ability. Our players love the team concept and cheer and support each other so much so they truly get more excited for another teammate’s success rather than their own.”

The season gets underway by hosting Lakeside on March 25.

Fitch Falcons Softball Preview
2022 Record: 23-3
2022 Post-Season Finish: Won District by defeating Green 6-5; Lost in Regional Final to Hoover (5-3)
Coach: Steve Ward

Key Returnees
Madi Beaudis, Senior
McKenna Hogan, Senior
Ashlee McLean, Senior
Caitlin Mitchell, Senior
Ayla Ray, Junior
Samantha Severn, Sophomore
Rachel Spalding, Sophomore
Sydnie Watts, Sophomore

2023 Schedule
Mar. 25 – Lakeside
Mar. 27 – at Howland
Mar. 28 – Howland
Mar. 30 – Aurora
Mar. 31 – Mentor
Apr. 3 – Boardman
Apr. 4 – at Boardman
Apr. 5 – Perry
Apr. 10-14 – Spring Break
Apr. 18 – Painesville Riverside
Apr. 20 – at Chardon
Apr. 21 – Hoban
Apr. 24 – Harding
Apr. 25 – at Harding
Apr. 28 – Champion
May 1 – at Canfield
May 2 – Canfield
May 5 – at Ursuline