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Softball’s elite to take part in Beverly Bandits showcase

Updated: July 19, 2014 6:28AM



Put together players from the ultra-competitive Beverly Bandits travel program with a collection of the best high school players from across the Chicago area and it should make for some entertaining softball.

There will be a bevy of talent on display Wednesday at The Ballpark in Rosemont. A Bandits squad composed of players from their 14U and 16U teams will take on the frosh-soph High School All-Stars at 6 p.m., and the Bandits 18U team will face off with the junior-senior High School All-Stars at 8 p.m.

Though Bandits founder Bill Conroy’s program has players from across the Midwest, he’ll play only his Chicago-area players in these games, making it a true showcase of the area’s best talent.

“I thought it made sense to play only the Chicago kids in this and make it a fun, local game,” Conroy said. “All our kids are Division I kids, the high school All-Stars have a ton of Division I talent. There’ll be a lot of great players playing.”

Look no further than the pitcher’s circle for proof of that. Conroy will send Downers South’s Dale Ryndak, the Gatorade Illinois Softball Player of the Year, out in the nightcap. The High School All-Stars’ pitching staff features Sun-Times Player of the Year Brooke Stulga, of Manteno. The pair combined to go 58-3 this season.

“That’s a great match-up right there to start it off,” Conroy said. “It’ll be fun to watch.”

The upperclassmen High School All-Stars feature seven Sun-Times first-team All-Area selections including Stulga, Benet’s Stephanie Abello, Lincoln-Way West’s Morghan Dieringer, St. Ignatius’ Katie Gallagher, Elmwood Park’s Becky Gruber, Glenbard North’s Sarah Petzhold and Willowbrook’s Sam Schmidt.

The underclassmen All-Stars’ squad is highlighted by second-team All-Area selections Kayla Garcia, of Lane, and Taylor Sterkowitz, of Oak Forest.

Marist’s Brooke Wyderski, Beecher’s Taylor Johnson, Naperville Central’s Maddi Doane and Conant’s Rachel O’Malley are among the standouts who will take the field for the Bandits.

It’ll be a special day all-around for the Bandits, who are going to be honored at U.S. Cellular Field before the White Sox game for their 16U team’s 2013 Premier Girls Fastpitch national championship before busing over to Rosemont.

“Then we leave for Huntington Beach (California) for a tournament Thursday,” Conroy said. “These games (Wednesday) are a chance for our girls to relax and have some fun, but we still want to play well.”



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