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By Mike Copper, Tom Reisenweber, Jeff Kirik Erie Times-News staff bloggers
The Varsity blog is the 2013 winner of an international EPPY award for best sports blog. EPPYs are awarded to media-affiliated websites by Editor & Publisher, an industry trade publication. Varsity is primarily maintained by Times-News sports writers Mike Copper and Tom Reisenweber and sports editor Jeff Kirik.   Read more about this blog.
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Winter Warm-up – Northwestern

Northwestern Wildcats
Baseball
Coach (season, record): John Light (18th season, 253-91)
2011 overall record: 8-7
2011 region record (place): 3-5 (third)
2011 playoff results: Did not qualify for the District 10 playoffs.
Top players lost: Nick Noe, Josh Paradies
Top returning players: Dan Finn, Josh Niedermeyer, Aaron Morley, Steve Maskrey, Alex Caruana, John Cook, Grant Panko

Schedule
April
2 at Eisenhower 4
4 Mercyhurst Prep 4
9 at Fairview* 4
11 Youngsville 4
13 North East* 4
18 Titusville* 4
20 at Seneca* 4
23 at Iroquois 4
25 Eisenhower 4
27 at Mercyhurst Prep 4
30 Fairview* 4
May
2 at Youngsville 4
5 at Corry 11 a.m.
7 at North East* 4
11 at Titusville* 4
14 Seneca* 4
16 Iroquois 4

Softball
Coach (season, record): Al Bricker (9th season, 135-33)
2011 overall record: 16-5
2011 region record (place): 14-4 (second)
2011 playoff results: Defeated Cambridge Springs 13-3 and lost to Fairview 5-4 in the District 10 playoffs.
Top players lost: Callie Markovich, Anna Liocano, Whitney Snyder, Jordan Thomas, Erin Brockett, Amber Braden
Top returning players: Megan Alward, Cassidy Taylor, Keirsten Biby, Tara Campbell, Aubrey Potter, Rylee Shaffer
Assistant coaches: Al Cox, Tony Lorance, Barb Donahue, Greg Evans, Dean Campbell, Brianna Bricker
Outlook: Northwestern graduated eight seniors and will look to the younger players to lead the way. Megan Alward, Cassidy Taylor, Keirsten Biby, Tara Campbell, Aubrey Potter and Rylee Shaffer are solid hitters returning but Northwestern will have to replace Meghan Bishop on the mound, who was decided not to play. The Wildcats could receive contributions from new players Alex Osborne, Kylee Askins, Molly Iskula, Addie Griffey and Allison Griffey. Replacing solid hitters like Markovich, an all-district selection, won’t be easy, but the Wildcats’ program is in a solid place where it will reload instead of rebuild.

Schedule
March
27 Villa Maria* 4
29 at North East* 4
April
3 General McLane* 4
10 at Seneca* 4
12 Youngsville* 4
14 at Fairview* 11 a.m.
17 Girard* 4
19 at Iroquois* 4
21 Eisenhower* 11 a.m.
24 at Villa Maria* 4
26 North East* 4
28 at General McLane* 11 a.m.
May
1 Seneca* 4
3 at Youngsville* 4
8 Fairview* 4
10 at Girard* 4
15 Iroquois* 4
17 at Eisenhower* 4
*Region games

Later today: Oil City

– Tom Reisenweber

Posted in: Baseball, Softball, Winter Warm-up

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