Softball: Nevis expecting to put competitive team on field
The Tigers return seven letterwinners from last year's team.
NEVIS – Seven letterwinners return to help the Nevis fastpitch softball team improve on last season’s 4-10 record.
Seniors Maddy Brakke and Maggie Carrier and junior Molly Lindow will once again lead the way after playing in all 14 games and earning Upper Mississippi Conference honors last season. Carrier and Lindow received all-conference honors while Brakke was an all-conference honorable mention selection.
Carrier handled the majority of the pitching duties a year ago, going 4-8 with a 14.21 ERA in 57 innings while batting .500 with 17 runs scored and a team-leading 15 RBI. Lindow was the Tigers’ starting catcher who hit .438 with 14 runs and 10 RBI. Brakke batted .486 with a team-leading 18 runs and five RBI.
The other returning letterwinners are junior Paradise Johnson, sophomore Lyra Luebbert, freshman Annabelle Bolster and eighth grader Olivia Harris.
Luebbert and Harris also played in every game last season with Luebbert batting .291 with eight runs and five RBI while Harris hit .182 with 10 runs. Bolster hit .500 with five runs and Johnson batted .461 with seven runs and seven RBI while going 0-1 with a 28.80 ERA in five innings on the mound.
That group led the Tigers to a 3-5 record in conference play and the No. 5 seed in the West for the Section 5A playoffs. Nevis was eliminated with a 12-2 loss to No. 4 Pine River-Backus in the first round. Sebeka won the section title with a 10-0 win over Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale while Walker-Hackensack-Akeley is the defending conference champion.
Looking to fill in as starters are Kiera Dilworth (outfield) and Peyton Offerdahl (pitcher).
“Peyton will give us another option on the mound and will give Maggie a break from the pitching duties. This will give us a nice balance as we will be playing a lot of games in a short period of time due to the weather and make-up games,” said Nevis head coach Michael Weerts. “Our success this year will be determined on our defense and the effectiveness of our pitching. Once we get out on the field, the goal is to show improvement with each game.”
Even though the Tigers will feature a young lineup, Weerts is expecting his team to put a competitive team on the field.
“I expect us to be in every game this year and be competitive. Our focus is fielding the ball and getting outs to get our pitchers off the field. If we can do this consistently, we will be able to play with any team in the conference and section,” said Weerts. “The key will be eliminating the little mistakes and staying focused for seven innings. We will be a young squad, but we will have a solid nine out there and will be ready to play. As long as we field the ball and play smart, we will be competitive in each game.”