NORTHWOOD TIMBERWOLVES (25-23 ALL, 12-16 GLIAC/7th)
2019 Northwood Preview
The Northwood University softball team is looking to continue moving up the GLIAC standings in the 2019 season. After missing the GLIAC Tournament three straight season, the Timberwolves made the event and won a game in the tournament in 2018. Third-year head coach Gregg Sauve’s (44-48) team is coming off a 25-23 season and features a large group of returners.
While Northwood does lose its top hitter (Sydni Pauley) and top pitcher (Mackenzie Norton), the Timberwolves bring back every other player who appeared in at least 40 games. Catcher Sydni Culps earned First Team All-GLIAC last season after leading the team in hitting (.363). Senior Abby Joseph hit .326 a year ago while ranking second on the team in home runs (five) and RBIs (33). Junior outfielder Maddie Coulter is one of the best athletes in the GLIAC and hit over .300 in her first year in the program. Junior Torriya Gray-Baker is a career .303 hitter who has slugged over .430 in each of her first two seasons. Sophomore Tara Gross hit .336 in her first year and will once again hold down second base. Gross’ twin sister Julia is penciled in at shortstop after playing in 41 games last season. Other key returning players include Karli Godlewski, Lauren Castellon and Chase Schultz.
Northwood has battled injuries in its pitching staff over the past few years, which has been addressed by the coach staff. The Timberwolves currently feature seven pitchers on the roster, led by Taylor Wright, who has a 1.83 ERA and an 11-5 record in 20 career appearances. Shayna Frank is also coming off an injury but has made big strides after winning seven games last season. Marissa Tiano has made 56 career appearances entering her junior season and has had a strong preseason camp. Newcomers in the circle include April Bennett, Heather Diercks, Kalynn Gulliver and Gabby Hoaglund.