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Lady Vikings look for help from underclassmen

With just 12 players reporting for practice including one senior, the Colfax softball team will have to rely on the experience of some underclassmen if they want to be competitive in the 2013 season. The Vikings return seven starters with Sam Simonson being the only senior in the group, and they have to replace starting pitcher Sam Yolitz, a four year letterwinner and All Conference player who took care of virtually all of the mound duties the last two  years. They also have to fill an infield spot with four year starter and All Conference player Kelsey Beranek gone.

Simonson, a second team All Conference player last year, led the team in homeruns with five and knocked in 23 runs with a  .414 batting average. First team All Conference player junior Mallie Doucette will anchor the infield at shortstop after leading the team in batting average at .429, in hits with 39 and in RBI with 29. Junior Emily Tuschl was an honorable mention All Conference pick and smacked 27 hits including seven doubles for the team while fellow junior Equality Wilson had a few at bats and was used as a pinch runner off the bench.

Sophomores who all started as freshmen include Alexis Rudi, an outfielder who may pick up some of the pitching duties this year, along with Karina Wait, Courtney Ottinger and Kori Buchanan,

Incoming freshmen are Lakken Meredith, Tierney Knutson, Eden Logslett and Hannah DeMoe. Meredith has pitching experience at the lower levels and  is expected to help out in the circle.

“Our strengths should be the experience of our seven returning players,” coach Joe Doucette who begins his fourth season leading the Vikings said. “We should be able to hit the ball well but we have to replace a starting pitcher and be consistent on defense. Last year our defense hurt us a few times in key situations.”

The Vikings placed fourth in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference with a 9-7 record and were 14-9 overall, ending the 2012 season with a regional final loss to Elk Mound. If they want to move up in the standings this year, Doucette believes Pepin, Elk Mound and Spring Valley are the teams they will have to beat.

“If our pitching comes through we could fight to be in the top 3-4 spots, but it will be tough to beat the top three teams,” he said.

Ed Korback will assist Doucette this year. It appears there may be some changes to the schedule and some double headers will be played due to the fact the fields still had snow on them as of March 31.