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This season — a ‘re-tooling’ year

By Staff | Mar 30, 2009

This year’s Bucs softball team includes: Front (left to right), Carly Hyland, Maddie McDonald, Bridget Moore, Mariah Cooke, Cali Rauenhorst, Alicia Rorman, Shelby Pearson and Lindsey Ankeny. Back (left to right), Anna Rademaker, Mary Johnson, Kirsten Johanson, Ashleigh Campbell, Hayley Pirsig, Rochelle Hernandez and Julia Meyer. Not pictured, Kim Liebl.

The first game of the 2009 softball season is less than two weeks away and Coach Bob Hanson’s team is hard at work preparing for the upcoming schedule. Now if they could just get outside to practice. The weather this past week has kept the team inside as they utilize the gym at the middle school as their practice field.

This looks to be largely a retooling year as there are only three seniors returning from last year’s squad.

“We lost a lot of offense from the girls who graduated last year,” notes Coach Hanson.

While the team may be young and short on varsity experience, you can’t help but notice their enthusiasm and positive attitude as you watch them practice.

Catcher Kirsten Johanson, and outfielders Cali Rauenhorst and Anna Rademaker are the only seniors on the squad this year. They are joined on the team by juniors Alicia Rorman, Mary Johnson, Bridget Moore, Mariah Cooke, Shelby Pearson, Ashleigh Campbell, and Hayley Pirsig.

Hanson looks for the strength of this team to be its defense and hitting.

“It’s good to have Campbell back – we can’t afford to have injuries,” comments Hanson. Campbell missed last season due to a back injury and is expected to add some punch to the offense this season.

A number of sophomores will also be vying for playing time on the squad. They include Maddie McDonald, Julia Meyer, Lindsey Ankeny, Carly Hyland, Kim Liebl, and Rochelle Hernandez.

As for the South Central Conference, Hanson expects Waseca, New Ulm and St. Peter to be the top teams this year.

The Bucs open their season with an away game at Waseca on April 9. Their home opener is April 13 when they host Belle Plaine in a 4 p.m. game. The Bucs home games are played at the 14th Street diamond with most games starting at 5:30 p.m.