By: Trey Donovan

2024 Travel Team Preview: Beverly Bandits 15u

The team hasn’t started their summer season yet, due to the high school softball season playoffs, but the Beverly Bandits 15u team is ready to get started. Their first event of the summer season is the Top Gun Invitational on June 13 through June 16.

Head Coach Kyle Hardin is excited about this team’s potential as his team has done well in their respective high school seasons, but also because last fall they had a good season.

“Our team is currently in their high school seasons where they are all playing well as they are about to begin the playoffs,” Hardin said. “In our fall season as a first year 16u team, we went 32-8 against the best in the country.”

Hardin discussed with us about the upcoming season and his goal for the team.

Can you give us some background on your coaching staff or style?

The team has three coaches with Kyle Hardin being the head coach and alongside him are Taylor Messer and Cassidy Brzozowski as assistant coaches.

“I have been coaching the Bandits for four years and have been with this current team for three now,” Hardin said. “I have truly loved seeing the development and success this team has shown over these three years.”

Both Messer and Brzozowski are first year coaches with the team but have a ton of experience in softball coming off their college careers at Western Illinois and Coastal Carolina. Even with newer coaches, Hardin describes all their coaching styles to be very similar.

“We try to show our athletes how fun the game is if you play it right. We are laid back but strive to get the best versions of our athletes both on and off the field,” Hardin said. “The majority of our team has been playing together for over three years, so our athletes understand the expectation and put in the work without needing a lot of direction. We don’t expect perfection, and all we ask is that you’re always giving 110% in everything they do.”

Can you give us some perspective on the roster?

“Our team is well-rounded. We have speed, we hit for power, we play good defense, and we have good pitching. It’s hard to highlight just a few players because we have so much talent and depth this year,” Hardin said. “We are going to be looking to bring a ton of energy this summer and leave it all on the field.”

The lineup for the team starts with Mia Taylor and Scarlette Tegtman who provide the speed and contact at the top of the order. Reese Rourke and Emma Bruggenschmidt provide the power and are the shortstops on the team. To go along with the power bats, Mackenzie Bacha, Ryleigh Keil and Bobbi Snook hold down the outfield with good fielding and power. Kaitlyn Streiler, Zoey Whittaker, and Ashlyn Kita also bring some pop and play the corner outfield spots. Rylie Van Aken is the team’s middle infielder and Grace King is the catcher who provides some more power and great defense.

The pitching staff consists of Neveah Rangel, Soleil Tate and Lucy George who “compliment each other really well and we are excited for their continued success,” Hardin explained.

With the team being a 15u squad, a lot of the players will begin the recruitment process. Hardin explained that 13 of the 16 players on the roster are going to be 2026 graduates and that after the summer season the recruitment process starts up for college.

What are your expectations or goals for the team?

“Our main goal of the team for the summer is to simply compete. When we are competing at the standard, we have set we have a good chance to beat any team in the country,” Hardin said. “We’d love to win some tournaments this summer and we are striving to get our players a lot of attention from college coaches but if we keep it simple and just compete everything else will fall into place.”

With the late start to their summer season, Hardin is looking to build the resumes of the players while keeping the motivation simple. Hardin is looking forward to the summer season and explains the team’s morale heading into the Top Gun Invitational as it is their first summer tournament.

“This team loves being together and taking the field together, so everyone is just really looking forward to getting the summer season started,” Hardin said. “We can’t wait to get going.”

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