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Pitchers to lead GC softball to a successful season

By Missy Klatt

GLENWOOD CITY — Although their field is currently covered by snow this hasn’t stopped the Glenwood City Girls softball team from starting practices for this upcoming season. Pete Gaustad returns for his fifth year as Glenwood’s head softball coach.  During his time at the helm he has an overall record of 40-51-1, which he looks to improve upon this season with 21 girls out for the team.

Last year the Hilltoppers had a record of 14-12 and tied for third in the conference.  In the playoffs, the girls made it to the regional semi- finals where they fell to Turtle Lake/Clayton.  Three  girls also took home All Conference honors last year; Jenesa Klinger, honorable mention; Maggie Wallin, first team and Natalie Gabbert, first team. Klinger and Wallin will be back again this year but Gabbert has moved on and is currently playing for Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota.

Besides Gabbert, the Toppers also lost Tia Carlson, Brooke Wickman, Bridgitte Weyer and Briana Barstad to graduation. Gaustad states that “each one played a vital role for our team. Losing Wickman and Gabbert is huge as they provided a great middle infield for us the last few years.”

Returning letter winners from last year include; junior Maggie Wallin who was 7th in the state in strike outs last year, senior, Jenesa Klinger who provides solid leadership as well as being a solid defensive player. Seniors and returning letter winners, Emily Hill and Mariah Voeltz will provide solid offense for the team while seniors Andi Jo Britton and Cortney Lawson, also returning letter winners are good hitters who will contribute to the offense; junior Lexy Curvello is a great outfielder who has some great speed.

Looking to break into the starting lineup this year are freshman stand outs, Delanie Fayerweather and Maddie Oehlke.

Coach Gaustad feels that pitching will be the Toppers strength this year with a good mix of power and speed. As for weakness, he states that depth will be their short fall. He goes on to say that “We need to find our role as a team and build from there. Filling in at left field, short stop, second base and catcher will be daunting but the girls will rise to the challenge.” Gaustad would like to see their on-base percentage go up. “We lost some good offense from last year so we need to create runs. We also need to play defense and limit our errors.”

As for this year’s competition, Gaustad states that Elk Mound will be tough, they return a good pitcher in Clare Hallum and also return Allison Lindquist who was the player of the year last year. He goes on to say that Boyceville will also be tough with Kostman and Dormanen back.  He says that Durand returns some great team speed and that “overall, I think the conference is very well balanced this year.”

Weather permitting,  the Lady Toppers will open their season on April 3rd with an away game against St. Croix Central.

Roster

Seniors: Jenesa Klinger, Emily Hill, Mariah Voeltz, Biri Mendez, Cortney Lawson, Andi Jo Britton.

Juniors: Maggie Wallin, Olivia Janson, Anna Brigham, Alexys Curvello, Ashlee Peterson.

Sophomores: Makiah Schutz, Logan Hoitomt, Janessa Demar, Bella Lawson, Kassidi Thompson, Katlin Lee.

Freshmen: Delaine Fayerweather, Maddie Oehlke, Tasha DeSmith, Hailey Schmidt.