From all the ups and downs this season, the Moraine Valley Community College softball team was a tightknit group that showed up for each other from start to finish.

The chemistry among the team of 13 was palpable. When the Cyclones were on, they were an unstoppable force, but when they were off, it led to losses. Overall, the crew went 6-33 and 3-7 in the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference, a far cry from where Head Coach Ari Bulthuis thought her team would be, but she still is proud of this group.

“No matter how bad things were, they all showed up for each other. That’s all I can ask for. They never fully quit and walked away. I love them all to death and couldn’t be prouder of them,” said Bulthuis, as she completed her fourth season leading the program.

The 2023-24 Moraine Valley Community College softball team.

The 2023-24 Moraine Valley Community College softball team.

Even through the tough times, the Cyclones had a few core players who made an impact. Sophomore Mya Granados (Evergreen Park) was a team leader and came up with the offense when the Cyclones needed it. She averaged .364 at the plate with 29 RBIs, 40 hits and nine doubles. She earned All-Conference first team for her performance.

Freshman Megan McClelland (Andrew) was the leadoff hitter (.315 ave.) and centerfielder. She saved a few games with her ball tracking and threw out some runners on double plays from the outfield. She earned All-Conference second team. Following her in the lineup was freshman Emma Hansen (Andrew), who led the team with a .373 batting average. With her and McClelland going 1-2 in the lineup, they made things happen on the bases with hitting and speed. Hansen started in the outfield but was moved to shortstop to fill in for an injured teammate.

Sophomore starting pitcher Cassidy Ostema (Sandburg) was a workhorse on the mound, giving 110% and growing as a person all year, Bulthuis said. She was recognized for her efforts with All-Conference honorable mention.

Freshmen Brialynn Mica (Plainfield Central) and Jolene Anderson (Romeoville) also were influential. Mica batted .349 with 17 RBIs, six doubles and four triples, and became the designated player when she suffered an injury. Anderson had a solid glove at third base and was the No. 3 hitter with a .319 average, 15 doubles and 26 RBIs. She’s planning to transfer to Concordia University to continue her education and athletic career in the fall.

Looking ahead to a better season, Bulthuis wants to build the roster so there’s more competition among the players. The Athletics Department also will have a strength and conditioning coach, which Bulthuis hopes will keep the team in shape and prevent injuries. She wants to add a third coach after her assistant, Jen Vanek, departed mid-season. With some new recruits and minor changes, Bulthuis aims to get back to the program’s winning ways.

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For news media inquiries, contact Maura Vizza, Moraine Valley communications specialist and sports information coordinator, at (708) 974-5742 or