YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Fighting Irish’s season ended in a 13-inning heartbreaking loss to Tuslaw (4-3) last May. Ursuline won the district crown and defeated West Salem Northwestern in the regionals before falling to the eventual-state finalist.

Coach Kristina Dugan has high expectations. “I expect [our] team to hold each other accountable and push one another. The group [must] work as a team and have fun together.”

Senior Mia Opalick tied the school’s homerun record as a junior. Opalick and Barbato are two seniors who will look to lead the Irish toward a successful 2023 season, both hit for a batting average over .300. The same could be said of underclassmen Gia Schiavone and Katie Koulianos as well.

“[We have] good hitters on the team,” Dugan said. “They’ll rally together. We have a lot of versatile players which has set a good vibe in practice because they hold each other accountable and push one another.”

The season gets underway with a doubleheader against Field and Harding on Saturday, March 25.

Ursuline Fighting Irish Softball Preview
2022 Record: 22-4
2022 Post-Season Finish: Won District Title by defeating Rootstown (7-0); Lost to Tuslaw in Regional Final
Coach: Kristina Dugan

Key Returnees
Liza Barbato, Senior
Mia Opalick, Senior
Lilly Ditz, Junior
Savannah Patrone, Junior
Hannah Saluga, Junior
Gia Schiavone, Junior
Arri Wendt, Junior
Kyleigh Golden, Sophomore
Katie Koulianos, Sophomore

2023 Schedule
Mar. 25 – Field
Mar. 25 – Harding
Mar. 27 – Mineral Ridge
Mar. 28 – Bristol
Mar. 30 – Hubbard
Mar. 31 – Strikeout Cancer (vs. Revere)
Apr. 1 – Strikeout Cancer (vs. Lakeview/Jefferson)
Apr. 5 – Hoban
Apr. 6 – Champion
Apr. 11-14 – Myrtle Beach
Apr. 18 – Brunswick
Apr. 21 – Walsh Jesuit
Apr. 22 – at Edison
Apr. 24 – at Cardinal Mooney
Apr. 25 – at St. Vincent-St. Mary
Apr. 26 – Gilmour Academy
Apr. 28-29 – at Prebis Memorial Tournament (at LaGrange)
May 2 – at Chardon
May 3 – Louisville
May 4 – Fitch