Competition for starting spots could spark St. John softball, Prouty says

Staff Report

St. John softball players will not only see competition from other teams this season.

Ambitious up-and-comers will vie for with starting juniors and seniors for their spots on this year’s lineup.

It’s a good scenario for the program, head coach Cindy Prouty said.

“Our younger players are really pushing our veterans for playing time, which has been exciting to watch,” she said.

St. John head softball coach Cindy Prouty, seen here in action last season, says younger players will compete against the more experienced teammates for starting spots on the 2022 roster.

The 18-member roster includes several starters, including three first-team All-District players from last season – senior catcher Cassidy Cannella, junior outfielder Ali Mancuso and junior pitcher. Kynleigh Rhymer.

Other returning starters include senior outfielder Kaylee Richard and junior third baseman Baylie Romero.

“We also have juniors Emma Perry and Emily Burleigh who didn’t start last season but did see some playing time, which will provide us seven quality, experienced players,” Prouty said. “Mix in a couple freshmen – second baseman Allison Boudreaux and shortstop Karsyn Vadnais – and we have the makings of a really good team.”

A few sophomores and freshmen could also see playing time – Caroline Bueche, Amelia Gaudet and Olivia Sanchez.

“We also have Charli Neumann, who is only an eighth grader but has a big bat and the ability to play several positions,” Prouty said.

The Eagles have a crop of younger players who are eager to stand in the spotlight, Prouty said.

Neuman – along with Vadnais and Rhymer – will handle pitching this season for the Eagles.

The determination – coupled with competition from within – fuel the potential for a solid season, Prouty said.

“I’m super excited to see where this team will go,” she said. “We have lots of talent and a great work ethic, so it should be a very good year.”

The Eagles finished 12-5 last season. The season ended with a 4-3 Division IV Select playoff loss to Riverside Academy that blocked St. John from a return to the Louisiana High School Athletic Association Fast Pitch 56 championship tournament at Frasch Park in Sulphur.

St. John, 3-1, nipped St. Joseph’s Academy 2-1 on March 2 and routed Lafayette Christian 12-2. SJA avenged the loss Saturday in a 4-3 win over the Eagles.

The Eagles head into action this weekend in the Brusly Invitational at Alexander Park. SJHS visits E.D. White on March 14 in Thibodeaux and host Central Private on March 15.

St. John begins its District 7-1A against archrival Ascension Catholic on March 17.