Eastwood's softball team finished with 18 wins and took third in the Suburban Lakes League last season, and with nine returning letter winners from that team, second-year coach Joe Wyant had a good feeling about his 2009 squad.
"We knew we would be pretty good because of last year," Wyant said. "Our goal was to win the league and go farther in the tournament. That (tournament run) didn't happen, but it only takes one bad game in the tournament."
The Eagles accomplished one of their goals this season by going 12-2 in the league and capturing the school's first SLL championship.
Eastwood, which fielded its first softball team in 1993, finished the season with a 21-5 record, losing only to Gibsonburg and Elmwood in league play.
"It's an honor to win the SLL, because it's a very good softball league and it always has been," said Wyant, who won two SLL titles at Lakota. "It's great for our softball program at Eastwood and for all the girls who played before who didn't have an opportunity to win the league. It's great for the community."
The Eagles' tournament run — and a 16-game winning streak — came to an end on May 19 with 4-3 loss to Central Catholic in the Division II district semifinals.
"We didn't play as well as we had been," Wyant said. "We had three errors, and we don't normally make those kinds of errors."
The Eagles had five players voted first-team All-SLL this season, and four others were named honorable mention all-league.
One of Eastwood's team leaders was senior third baseman Brooke Albright, a first-team all-league and all-district selection. She also was second in voting for the SLL's most valuable player.
"She was second in hitting for us and, defensively, our best player," Wyant said. "She's a competitor. She gets upset when she doesn't perform. She's pretty intense and pretty hard on herself on how to play. She runs the bases extremely well."
In addition to batting .447, scoring 33 runs and driving in a school-record 33 runs, Albright hit three home runs and was 12-for-12 in stolen bases.
Junior shortstop Katie Dewyre set school records with a .528 batting average and 35 runs scored. She was a first-team all-league and all-district selection.
"Katie played a solid shortstop all year and she's a great hitter," Wyant said. "She put the ball in play - she only struck out twice all season — and she had nine doubles, so she hits with a little bit of power."
Junior first baseman Jimmi Gangwer was named first-team All-SLL after batting .358 with three home runs and 26 RBI. Her twin sister, Kerri, batted .318 and was a second-team all-district and honorable mention all-league catcher.
Megan Eisenhour, a junior center fielder, batted .338 and was named first-team all-league and all-district. Kristin Martin, a junior second baseman, was honorable mention all-league and batted .339 with 26 runs scored.
"Kristin had 10 extra-base hits, which was big for a No. 9 hitter," Wyant said.
Senior left fielder Alyssia LaVoy was an honorable mention all-league selection.
The Eagles lost returning No. 1 pitcher Audrey Flores (8-6, 1.63 ERA) before the start of the season after Flores had knee surgery. Thanks to sophomore Christine Foster and senior Beth Knott, Eastwood didn't miss a beat.
"Christine and Beth are both very capable pitchers," Wyant said. "They were only a fraction off of what Audrey was a year ago. They both stepped up and did a nice job."
Foster finished 18-5 with a 1.62 ERA in 142 1/3 innings to earn first-team all-league and honorable mention all-district honors. Knott was 3-0 with a 1.01 ERA in 27 2/3 innings and was named honorable mention all-league.
"Last year Beth batted under .200 and ended up batting .349 with 29 RBI this year, which was a big plus for us," Wyant said. "She also played a good outfield."