The Horejs sisters are ready to swing Benet Academy softball into class 4A

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The Benet Academy softball team enters the 2024 campaign with optimism. Last season, the Redwings flew all the way to the 3A State Series, which ended with a third-place finish, tied for the best in program history. The path back to state will be a challenge this spring as the team will move to class 4A once the state tournament begins next month.

Excitement for another season on the diamond together

Yet, Benet returns nearly the entire lineup, with Taylor Sconza being the only everyday stater lost to graduation. Two of the key players from last season’s historic run are back to lock down the middle infield with Gianna Horejs, who plays second base, and her younger sister Angela, who plays shortstop. 

“It’s so much fun playing with her. We have good communication on the field since we’ve known each other for our entire lives. So, just like communication is really key between us on the field, we were able to pick each other up and keep each other relaxed on the field, which is always good,” said Benet Academy second baseman Gianna Horejs.

“It meant a lot. Actually, both of us are hitting in the lineup, sometimes back-to-back in the lineup. I think a lot of the time it was good when one of us did something good. I think it would help motivate the other to do something good and things like that,” said Benet Academy shortstop Angela Horejs. 

Gianna, a senior who has played for the Redwings all four seasons, while Angela Horejs, who is entering her junior year, is only playing in her second year on varsity after a back injury kept her on the bench for her freshman season in 2022.

“It did take some time to adjust. After being injured for a year, I was still getting back at it after a summer season, and it did take some time but after a few games, I was I felt in the right place,” said Angela. 

Horejs sisters powered the Redwings to a historic finish in 2023

 In 2023, the sisters combined for over sixty hits over the course of the season, with each batting over .330 to go with ten total home runs. Angela’s return to the diamond, which earned her a third-team All-State selection, was exciting for the whole family. 

“She was definitely anxious to get back on the field, but it was fun going back out there with her, and some things were difficult to return to. She had to regain strength and some of her muscles for hitting, throwing, and stuff like that. But overall, she did amazing coming back,” said Gianna. 

“She was very supportive. Just coming off of that injury, I wasn’t really used to the dynamic playing with high school because that was my first sophomore year, was my first time playing high school season and she helped me adjust a lot because that was her third year playing,” said Angela. 

Angela played a key role in the state third-place game, tagging out two base runners and scoring the game-winning run to win the third-place state trophy. With a year of varsity experience under her belt Angela is ready to take another step forward this spring, with a lot of credit going to her sister. 

“When I played with her when I was younger, it was obviously not as competitive and a completely different level, and I did not play in high school. We faced so much, so many different competitions, and really good teams. So I think it challenges our relationship on the field and off the field,” said Angela. 

Benet bats return plenty of pop

The Redwings are going to be a tough out despite competing in the challenging Marist 4A sectional, where the host Redhawks are the defending state champions. In addition to the Horeks sisters, Bridget Chapman, Gianna Cunningham, Grace Babich, Marikate Ritterbush, Hannah Baer, pitcher Alex O’Rourke and All-State third-team selection Nina Pesare all return with plenty of experience.

“Moving up to 4A, the biggest thing is probably the bigger schools we will face. But other than that, I think our communication on the field is going to stay the same and we’re just going to work and push each other throughout all the games,” 

Regardless of what happens during the postseason, Gianna and Angela will cherish every moment together for the rest of the season before Gianna graduates. 

“I’m going to miss her a lot. I definitely miss having her right next to me at second base and going on pre-game drives and stuff like that. It’s going to be sad when she leaves,” said Angela. 

“Rides to games after games on the field together just when there’s little moments for us to talk on the field picking each other up, just always having her there with me, going out on the field together. It’s just been so fun to be with her throughout all this,” said Gianna. 

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