BOYCEVILLE — Although the Boyceville Softball team lost its first team, all-conference pitcher Kennedy Hellmann to graduation last senior along with Melissa Stuart, the Lady Bulldogs should be just fine in 2015.
Boyceville’s eight other starters from a year ago have returned to provide the Bulldogs with experience and talent. Slightly more than half of the 23 members are upperclassmen.
The Bulldogs, who have already put a pair of nonconference games in the win column, will sport a lineup that looks much the same as a year ago.
And head coach Jamie Olson couldn’t be more pleased.
Returning to their starting positions are: Jenna Beyrer, a left fielder and pitcher, who batted .222 last year; Katie Kegen, third base and pitcher and .300 hitter; first baseman Madysn Riek, who hit for a .290 average; Brooklynn Blaser, a .275-hiting second baseman; Shortstop Lexi Petersen, another .222 hitter; Rachal Anderson, a .250 hitter that plays right field and is a designated hitter; Kayla Nelson, who hit .286 in 2014 and plays center field and pitches; and big hitting catcher Maddy Bygd, who finished with a .375 average a year ago.
All of the above are seniors and juniors.
Olson also believes that Brooklyn Hellmann, Kayla Hoff, Peyton Hellmann, Marki Lagerstrom, Morgan Kuhn and Tori Kostman will also provide key contributions to this year’s squad.
In addition, there are several new additions to the Bulldogs roster this season including: Seniors Javanta Pride, juniors Emma James and Montana Johnson, sophomore Abigail Erickson, and freshmen Marissa Dormanen, Rylie Andrews, Kylie Krueger, Mckenna Weber, and Shania Dunn.
“We have experience returning and some pitching,” said Olson of his team’s strengths.
“When you have eight starters returning and five or so others that are capable of starting, this provides depth and competition,” Olson continued.
“But we need to become more consistent in all areas to win games in this competitive conference,” added Olson.
If the Lady Bulldogs want to improve on their 8-8 Dunn-St. Croix mark from a year ago when they also finished 10-9 overall, Olson believes that team unity will be the ultimate difference in how far this edition will go this season.
“We need to continue to work hard and develop team chemistry,” stated Olson. “If we do this, we feel we can compete at a high level in every game.”
Perennial conference favorite and last year’s defending conference champion Pepin/Alma along with Elmwood and Elk Mound will be Boyceville’s measuring sticks.
“All three return great pitching,” noted Olson. “After that, I think anyone one of us could compete.”
Assisting Olson are Kim Webb, John Hellmann, Kevin Bygd, and Ericka Wolfe.
Boyceville Softball Roster
Seniors: Rachal Anderson, Brooklynn Blaser, Lexi Peterson, Kayla Nelson, Javanta Pride.
Juniors: Marki Lagerstrom, Katie Kegen, Jenna Beyrer, Maddy Bygd, Peyton Hellmann, Montana Johnson, Emma Jones.
Sophomores: Madysn Riek, Kayla Hoff, Morgan Kuhn, Brooklyn Hellmann, Tori Kostman, Abi Erickson.
Freshmen: Marissa Dormanen, Riley Andrews, Kylie Krueger, Mckenna Weber, Shania Dunn.