Softball: Dawson will provide Niles West with measure of maturity
Skokie, 03/16/12 Niles West's Krista Dawson delivers the pitch during their game against Resurrection at Niles West March 16. | Curtis Lehmkuhl~Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 3, 2012 11:56AM
Injuries to the Vikings left Krista Dawson all alone in the circle at the end of the season.
The Niles West junior pitched every inning of the team’s final nine games, including last week’s 7-0 loss to Loyola in the regional semifinals at Maine South.
“She really did a fantastic job for us,” Wolves coach Nicole Reynolds said.
The ace a year ago, Dawson struggled with shin splints as a sophomore before playing at full strength this season. She figures to be the team’s top pitcher for a third year in a row as a senior.
“She’s been very strong for us throughout,” Reynolds said.
Dawson, who also batted at the top of the order, will be one of the seven players back who started the playoff game against the Ramblers.
One senior ended her prep career prematurely. Starting catcher Lexi Leftakes broke her leg in a late April practice and missed the rest of the season.
Leftakes was one of several Wolves who suffered injuries this spring.
“Right before Lexi went down we were on a roll,” Reynolds said.
Niles West was overmatched against fourth-seeded Loyola, which also beat the Wolves 10-1 at the end of the regular season.
The Wolves went hitless through five innings and struck out 14 times in 26 at-bats.
Jessie Simkins and Gracie McDonagh each had collected hits for Niles West, which ended the season 8-24.
“Most everyone is coming back, but we don’t know what is going to happen next year,” Reynolds said. “We pulled up some young kids to play in the regional, and we have some good kids coming up in the future. We will see how next year goes.”