Union City Spring Sports Preview: Softball

Written By Cody Rose 

Spring is coming and that means the start of a brand-new softball season for the Lady Bears, who come into the 2023 season with high hopes for another deep playoff run, while also chasing a fourth straight region championship. The Bears who are led by long-time head coach Jerry VanZandt, are looking to get back to the District 10 Championship game after falling just short a season ago, when losing to Reynolds 9-0 in the District 10 Class 2A Semifinals. The Lady Bears finished the season with a 16-3 (13-1) record, while earning their third straight region title. There are a couple major changes coming this season for the Bears, the first of which is a change to what region they are in, as the Lady Bears move from region 2 to region 3, which on paper looks to be much tougher. Joining Union City in region 3 are: Fort Leboeuf, Harbor Creek, Fairview, Girard, North East, Mercyhurst Prep, Northwestern and Seneca. The other big change for the Lady Bears this season is on the mound, as the Bears lost star pitcher Abby Tingley, as well as left fielder Kamryn Gates-Bowersox to graduation, both of which are continuing their softball careers at Penn State Behrend. One thing that’s not changing however is the Lady Bears coaching staff, as joining Coach Jerry VanZandt are the familiar faces of Mike Schrecengost, Zach Hale and Jen Drayer, who are leading a returning mix of young and veteran upperclassmen talent such as: Grace Chapman, Kaegann Gregor, Alissa Leech, Cathryn Reynolds, and Senior power-hitter Lucy Higley. No matter what the changes are, you can bet that Coach VanZandt will have his team ready to go once the season starts!

2023 schedule:

Tue. March 21 @ Cochranton 

Fri. March 24 vs. General McLane 

Thu. March 30 vs. Seneca *

Sat. April 1 vs. Mercyhurst Prep *

Tue. April 4 vs. Harbor Creek *

Thu. April 6 @ Fort Leboeuf *

Tue. April 11 vs. Girard *

Thu. April 13 @ Fairview *

Fri. April 14 @ Cathedral Prep 

Tue. April 18 @ North East *

Thu. April 20 @ Northwestern *

Fri. April 21 vs. Maplewood 

Thu. April 27 @ Seneca *

Sat. April 29 @ Harbor Creek *

Tue. May 2 vs. Fort Leboeuf *

Thu. May 4 @ Girard *

Sat. May 6 vs. North East *

Tue. May 9 vs. Fairview *

Thu. May 11 @ Mercyhurst Prep *

Tue. May 16 vs. Northwestern *

* Region game