Area softball preview: Seniors to lead at Kelliher-Northome
KELLIHER - Leading the Kelliher-Northome softball team this spring will be five seniors, including Hope Lindner.
"Hope is a four-year starter, including three years as a starter at first base," said K-N coach Matt Hanson. "Hope is a great fielder and last year she really turned it on at the plate, hitting .267 and tying for the team lead in RBI with 13 in 17 games."
Seniors Hollea Boquist, Megan Halverson and Kish Heck also are returning four-year starters while senior Kristen White has started three years.
"Hollea will move from left field to center this year," Hanson said. "Each year she improves offensively and last year she hit .283 and matched Hope's 13 RBI."
Heck mans third base for the Mustangs and has owned those duties for four years.
"Kisha's played third nearly as long as I've been the coach," Hanson said. "It will be strange next year to see someone else in that spot."
Halverson pitches and plays shortstop.
"Megan is our do-everything player," the coach said. "She has the strongest arm on the team and has played every spot during her career."
Halverson has been slowed during her high school career by a variety of injuries but Hanson hopes that the senior can have an injury-free spring.
"For Megan the key will be to remain healthy," Hanson said. ""She's the Joe Mauer of our team - a great hitter who can play anywhere but who needs to stay in the lineup. Megan was batting .313 last year when a concussion knocked her out of the season."
Taylor Grams and Heather VanWert are K-N's juniors and the rest of the squad is comprised with freshmen.
"If our seniors can help bring along our younger players we can have a successful season," Hanson said.
Bagley's program appears to be on solid ground as the roster includes 35 players in grades seven through 12. Among the group are seniors Andrea Hood, Cassidy Ham, Meghan Kaiser and Sierra Spray.
The junior class is represented by Hannah Neeland, Hannah Quade, Jenna Kaiser, Lydia Smith and Sean Benson while the sophomores include Ellen Ramsrud, Emily Goodwin, haley VantHul, Jade Brustad, Laura Rasmussen, Raine Benson and Sara Titera.
The Drakes will be young as the roster does not include a senior. On board, however, are juniors Cassidy Rockis, Katie O'Rourke and Tiffany Jones.
The sophomore class is represented by Shelby Sorheim, Brooke Mistic, Ashley Jeffrey, Sadie Radke and Taylor Levy.
Blackduck begins its season April 12 at Win-E-Mack and the home opener will be April 16 against Deer River. Following a game at Littlefork-Big Falls on April 19 the Drakes will be home for five straight games.
The homestand begins April 23 against Bagley and extends through the rest of the month.
The Panthers will host Walker-Hackensack-Akeley Tuesday in their season opener and will play four of their first six games at home.
Other games at CL-B during that stretch will be April 16 against Remer, April 19 against Nevis and April 24 against Pine River.
Joy Smith and Stephanie Masten are the seniors listed on Cass Lake-Bena's roster while Kit Rousu is the lone junior. The sophomores include Brandi Dahmen, Kayla Madigan, Marissa Leecy and Tori Foster.
Seniors Shante Roy and Mari Cobenais will lead the Red Lake softball team and joining them will be juniors Faleisha Desjarlait, Robyn Cook and Taylor Dickenson.
The Warriors begin their season Tuesday against Nevis.
The Wildcats battle Pine River Tuesday in their opener. The roster includes seniors Edie Johnson, Kelli Corson and Leah Nelson plus junior Daria Arkhipova.