SIBLEY - The Sibley Fastpitch/Gibson City Elite softball team is locked, loaded and ready for another season filled with summer nights under the bright lights of small town ballparks.
Thanks to a “bolstered” schedule to increase competition, and the development of a young roster that fields six players under age 23, the bat cracking crew is ready to light up McMillan Field and hit the road running with higher expectations than previous years.
“Last year’s team involved multiple lineup changes. This year’s lineup is much more stable and looks to be more consistent,” Elite member Tyler Brucker said. “Last year was an introduction to mens fastpitch for many of the players. This team has much more experience than in years past, and expectations are high.”
New members on board are John Kopp, who played five seasons for Mazon Fastpitch; Jesse Brucker, who took off last year to concentrate on baseball; and an Australian pitcher by the name of Josh White.
Brucker just finished his senior year playing for Monmouth, while White has experience playing for teams out in California.
White replaces Jordan Waterhouse, the New Zealander who led the squad on the mound last summer.
To kick-start the season, Sibley/Gibson City will host a tournament in Gibson City Saturday.
A three team round robin made up of Frannys (Springfield), Bud (Teutopolis) and Sibley Area Fastpitch will overtake McMillan field starting at 10 a.m. and play out the rest of the day.
Sibley’s first game starts at noon versus Bud. A team raffle drawing will be held at 5 p.m.
It won’t be the team’s first outing this year. The Elite spent Memorial Day weekend at the Teutopolis Memorial Day Tournament, where they split their games with a 9-7 win over Belleville Stallions before falling to eventual champions Villa Grove Central Illinois Knights 8-1.
Home games will be updated and added to the schedule in the coming weeks.
Gibson City Round Robin
10:00 Bud vs. Frannys
12:00 Sibley vs. Bud
2:00 Frannys vs. Bud
5:00 Team raffle drawing
All games will be held at McMillian Field in Gibson City
5-7 Round Robin with Aurora
12-14 Kelso Missouri Classic
26-28 Villa Grove Tourney
10-12 Nokomis Tourney
17-19 Bloomington Tourney
24-26 DH TBD
6-9 NAFA A-Major; Moline