City softball 2008 preview 4-4 /kh/ Web


Head coach: Steve Riles, 19th season.

Last year: The Spartans finished 7-10 in the Big Nine Conference, 10-15 overall.

Assistant coaches: Clint Thome, Ericka Morrison, Sarah Edwards.

Outlook: The Spartans were building a year ago, with just one senior on the squad, and now they hope to be competitive in the Big Nine and Section 1AAA tournament. Mayo finished on a high note last year with a 3-2 run in the section tourney, and the Spartans have seven starters back from the end of the season.


"We’re still young, but we’ve moved along a little bit," coach Steve Riles said. "We’re hoping we can compete. We were trying to get experience last year, and we’ll try to go from there."

Senior pitcher Leah Van Wettering threw most of the innings for Mayo last year, but Riles will switch up on the mound a bit in 2008 with up to five pitchers competing for time on the hill. Amy Nelson, a starter at first base, is expected to be the No. 2 pitcher.

Van Wettering had a 1.54 ERA in 2007 and also batted .308. Sophomore catcher Emma Leof had a stellar freshman year, leading the Spartans in hitting (.373) and RBIs (11). Sophomore third baseman Sarah Bohlen hit .288 in 2007.

Mayo also fielded .908 as a team last year. "That’s pretty good, but we think we can be better," Riles said.

Other starters back include seniors Ashley Stanislawski, at second baseman, and left fielder Katie Garretson; juniors Amelia Jojowka (DH) and Kaitlyn Harberts (outfield); and freshman Courtney Palmer (shortstop).

Riles says overall the Spartans "have great depth."

The coach expects Mankato West and East to be the teams to beat in the Big Nine.



Seniors — Ashley Stanislawski (2B), Amy Nelson (1B/P), Leah Van Wettering (P), Katie Garretson (OF). Juniors — Brittini Hoosier (IN), Amelia Jojowka (OF), Kaitlyn Harberts (OF), Calli Clark (P/OF), Susan Owen (OF). Sophomores — Emma Leof (C), Sarah Bohlen (3B/SS/C). Emily Jasperson (1B), Hayley Moessner (2B). Freshman — Linsey Hoosier (OF), Courtney Palmer (SS), Kelli Anderson (OF/2B), Courtney Schubauer (P/OF), Kaitlyn Trangsrud (C/SS).


April 8 — Century, 5 p.m.

April 10 — John Marshall, 5 p.m.

April 11 — at Albert Lea, 5 p.m.

April 15 — at Winona 5 p.m.

April 17 — at Mankato East, 5 p.m.

April 18-19 — at Austin invitational, 7 p.m., 10 a.m.


April 22 — Austin (2), 4 p.m.

April 24 — at Owatonna, 5 p.m.

April 29 — at Faribault (2), 4 p.m.

May 1— Albert Lea, 5 p.m.

May 6 — at Century, 7 p.m. (Soldiers Field)

May 8 — Mankato West (2), 4 p.m.

May 13 — Winona, 5 p.m.

May 15 — at John Marshall, 7 p.m. (Soldiers Field)


May 16 — Mankato East, 5 p.m.

May 21-30 — Section 1AAA tournament at Austin, TBA

June 5-6 — State tournament at Mankato, TBA


Head coach: Thang Nguyen, 7th season.

Assistant coaches: Brendan Adams, Josh Burton, Mike Breitbach.

Last year: The Rockets finished 10-7 in the Big Nine Conference, 10-10 overall.

Outlook: John Marshall has five starters back from a year ago, but is still young with just three seniors and four juniors.


"As young as we are, we have five starters back and that’s kind of nice," coach Thang Nguyen said.

Senior pitcher DeAnna Mock begins her fourth year as a starter on the mound. "That’s half our battle, when you have a good pitcher and experienced pitching," Nguyen said.

Other starters back include juniors Maly Schacht in center field, second baseman Cali Lakin and sophomores Michelle Anderson at catcher and Kristen Thelen, who shifts from third to shortstop.

"We’re hoping to (improve), but on the same note we know we’re young, especially at the corner infield (spots) and corner outfield," Nguyen said.

Nguyen said the John Marshall defense should be fine, but the challenge will be to score enough runs for Mock. "We have to play a lot of small ball this year," Nguyen said. "We have a lot of team speed. My biggest worry is our offense. We’ll have to try to muster runs."

The coach lists Mankato West and East as the teams to beat in the Big Nine followed by Mayo and Austin. He said the Rockets should be in the next tier of teams. JM gets a challenge right away as it opens the season on April 8 with a doubleheader at Mankato West.

"The Mankatos are always tough," Nguyen said.



Seniors — DeAnna Mock (P), Amanda Sinnwell (OF), Jastene Lovelace (1B). Juniors — Cali Lakin (2B), Maly Schacht (CF), Hannah Sahli (IN), Carmen Walter (RF). Sophomores — Michelle Amundson (C), Kristen Thelen (SS), Nicole Erickson (OF). Freshman — Sarah Armstrong (IN), Katie Armstrong (OF), Jessa Hohnstein (1B/2B). Eighth-grader — Laura Van Vooren (C/IN).


April 8 — at Mankato West (2), 4 p.m.

April 10 — at Mayo, 5 p.m.

April 12 — Century, 5 p.m.

April 15 — Austin, 5 p.m.

April 17 — Owatonna (2), 4 p.m.

April 19 — at Hastings invitational, 10 a.m.

April 22 — Faribault (2), 4 p.m.

April 24 — Albert Lea, 5 p.m.

April 29 — at Century, 7 p.m. (Soldiers Field)

May 1 — Winona (2), 4 p.m.

May 9 — Mankato East (2), 4 p.m.

May 13 — at Austin, 5 p.m.

May 15 — Mayo, 7 p.m. (Soldiers Field)

May 21-30 — Section 1AAA tournament at Austin, TBA

June 5-6 — State tournament at Mankato, TBA


Head Coach: Tim Strain, 10th season.

Assistant coaches: Steve Lewison, Katie Gray, Rachel Svenningson.

Last year: Century finished 2-15 in the Big Nine Conference, 2-18 overall.

Outlook: The Panthers are looking to significiantly improve on last year’s win total. They have good experience coming back with six seniors expected to see extended action.

"Last year was a great learning experience for our younger players, and we are hoping that experience will translate into a few more wins," coach Tim Strain said.

Strain is likely to use several pitchers during the season. Seniors Steph Klein and Ana Lindahl will provide senior leadership on the mound. Sophomore Jenessa Johnson, who started a few games year last, will also see action on the hill.

Senior Kristen Holets will split time with sophomore Angelina Cochran behind the plate.

Seniors Ashli Donovan (third base), Hannah Crowson (second base) and Alyssa Olson (outfield) will add experience to the lineup. A solid corps of juniors are also back. McKinzie Lewison and Lindsey Mills will return as starters in the outfield. Breanna Bjerke (shortstop) and Katie Zimny (first) will again anchor the infield.

We had trouble scoring some runs last year, but we look forward to an improved lineup and improved speed on the basepaths," Strain said.

Strain agrees with the other Rochester coaches about how Mankato West and Mankato East are the teams to beat in the Big Nine. 

"Mayo has a very good lineup and Austin is always tough to beat," Strain added. "JM is young, but they will have good pitching and should be tough to beat." 


Seniors: Hannah Crowson (2B), Kristen Holets (C), Steph Klein (P), Ana Lindahl (P), Ashli Donovan (3B), Alyssa Olson (OF). Juniors: Breanna Bjerke (SS), Katie Zimny (1B), McKInzie Lewison (OF), Lindsey Mills (OF), Emily Thompson (IF), Ariana Allen (IF), Sarah Franks (OF), Kelsey Swanson (IF). Sophomores: Jenessa Johnson (P), Angelina Cochran (C). Freshman: Vanessa Ochoa (IF).


April 8 — at Mayo, 5 p.m.

April 10 — Mankato East (2), 4 p.m.

April 12 — at John Marshall, 2 p.m.

April 15 — Owatonna, 5 p.m.

April 17 — at Faribault, 5 p.m.

April 19 — Hopkins, 11 a.m.

April 22 — Albert Lea (2), 4 p.m.

April 24 — Winona, 5 p.m.

April 29 — John Marshall, 7 p.m. (Soldiers Field)

May 1 — at St. Charles, 5 p.m.

May 3 — at Mankato West (2), noon

May 6 — Mayo, 7 p.m. (Soldiers Field)

May 8 — at Austin (2), 4 p.m.

May 10 — at Red Wing, 5 p.m.

May 13 — at Owatonna, 5 p.m.

May 17 — Faribault, noon

May 21-30 — Section 1AAA tournament at Austin, TBA

June 5-6 — State tournament at Mankato, TBA


Head coach: Darwin "Doc" Johnson, 5th season

Assistant coaches: Jamie Johnson, Mike Mackern, Becky Macken, Kathy Schneider, Sarah LoBue.

Last Season: The Eagles finished 7-14.

Outlook: The Eagles have a young squad but return their pitcher and most-improved hitter from a year ago.

"Our depth is very limited this year, so if we can avoid injuries I look for the team to contend for an upper-half finish in the tough HVL conference," coach Doc Johnson said.

Senior Lindsay Frie will be handling most of the pitching this season. Senior first baseman Courtney Miller anchors the infield. She was named the team’s Most Improved Player a year ago when she batted .365.

Junior and returning starter Kristie Mueller is back at shortstop. Two newcomers are at the other infield spots with freshman Val Tracy at second base and senior Mariah Boland taking over at third base.

The outfield will be made up of seniors Patti Geisler and Molly Kuisle and junior Lizzy Wolk, with junior Carrie Bauer sharing duties. Sophomore Paige Leyendecker and junior Lizzy Wolk with share time at catcher. Two other newcomers, juniors Faith Aranguren and Kayla Jones, round out the roster.

"I look for Winona Cotter, Zumbrota Mazeppa, Pine Island and Lake City as the top contenders in the conference; however, we have two new teams this year as well, La Crescent and Goodhue, both of which should be able to field very competitive teams," Johnson said. "In fact, it is getting very difficult to pick the contenders as the HVL is consistently becoming very competitive and normally there are no easy games on your conference schedule."


Seniors — LLindsay Frie (P), Courtney Miller (1B), Mariah Boland (3B), Molly Kuisle (OF), Patti Geisler (OF). Juniors — Kristie Mueller (SS), Lizzy Wolk (OF/C), Carrie Bauer (OF/3B), Faith Aranguren (1B/OF), Kayla Jones (2B/OF). Sophomores — Paige Leyendecker (C). Freshman — Val Tracy (2B).


April 8 — at Zumbrota-Mazeppa, 5 p.m.

April 10 — at Winona Cotter, 5 p.m.

April 12 — at Faribault Bethlehem Academy Invitational, 11 a.m.

April 15 — Kenyon-Wanamingo, 5 p.m.

April 17 — at Hayfield, 5 p.m.

April 18 — at Lake City, 5 p.m.

April 21 — Plainview-Elgin-Millville, 5 p.m.

April 22 — Cannon Falls, 5 p.m.

April 24 — Pine Island, 5 p.m.

April 25 — Chatfield, 5 p.m.

April 29 — at Triton, 5 p.m.

May 1 — La Crescent, 5 p.m.

May 3 — at Southland, 10 a.m.

May 5 — at Stewartville, 5 p.m.

May 6 — Kasson-Mantorville, 5 p.m.

May 8 — Byron, 5 p.m.

May 13 — Goodhue, 5 p.m.

May 16 — Subsection, TBA

June 5-6 — State tournament at Mankato, TBA

— Guy N. Limbeck

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