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Softball team has brighter outlook this year

By Staff | Mar 31, 2019

the girl’s softball team opens play on April 2 when they travel to New Richland. Pictured front row, left to right, Roxanne Quintero, Sydney Blagg, Lilly Mathews and Carla Leyva. Second row: McKenna Dutton, Miya Gustafson, Emma Dahl, Adrianna Granillo, Lauren Madetzke and Grace Roiger. Not pictured: Emily Black, Grace Wollman and Amarrah Smith.

There are eight returning starters on this year’s Blue Earth Area softball team. That fact alone is one reason Buccaneer softball coach Terry Ehlert believes the Bucs have a chance to improve on last season’s 3-15 record.

“I didn’t really realize just how young we were last year,” Ehlert says. “We were asking a lot of those young kids.”

This is Ehlert’s second year as the BEA softball head coach. He is joined by assistant coach Chuck Allen. Prior to coaching for the Bucs, Ehlert spent four years as the Fairmont Cardinals head softball coach.

“You can see the girls are more comfortable with the coaching staff this year,” Ehlert notes. “They have more belief in what we are trying to do.”

The team consists of 13 players this year. There are three seniors, five juniors, four sophomores and one freshman.

If the strength of a team’s defense is up the middle, the Bucs have good experience with Lauren Madetzke and McKenna Dutton returning as pitchers, Miya Gustafson at the catcher position and Adrianna Granillo at shortstop. Granillo will also see some time behind the plate.

“One of the keys to our improvement will be our defense getting better,” Ehlert adds. “The other big thing for us is to improve at the plate, our batting has to get better.”

Joining Madetzke, Dutton, Gustafson and Granillo on the squad are Emily Black, Grace Wollman, Amarrah Smith, Roxanne Quintero, Sydney Blagg, Lilly Mathews, Carla Leyva, Emma Dahl and Grace Roiger.

Due to inclement weather, last year’s squad did not get outside to practice until they had played their first game. This year the coach and players are hoping to have a chance to get on the outdoor field before traveling to New Richland for their opening game on April 2. The contest starts at 5:00 p.m.

Two days after taking on the Panthers the Bucs return to their home field on 14th Steet to host the Worthington Trojans in a Big South Conference game beginning at 5:30 p.m.

When it comes to the Big South Conference, Ehlert feels New Ulm and St. Peter will be the teams to beat.

“Our girls worked hard this past summer,” Ehlert notes. “They are a great group who want to learn and get better.”