Lady Hornets raise bar on season expectations
There will be plenty of depth, along with talent and experience, showcased on the Frazee softball team this season.
The Lady Hornets have the majority of their team back from last year, sans two 2010 seniors, and depth will be a strength.
"I'm excited to see the kids on the field and I feel good with the experience we have coming back," said Frazee head coach Dave Trautman.
The new 43-foot distance from plate to pitching mound will be a concern, but Trautman feels his depth on the pitching mound will be fine.
Each of seniors Brittney Blauert and Emma Buhr saw good innings last year and Trautman is hoping the extra two feet in distance doesn't affect their accuracy.
"You need to throw strikes," Trautman said. "Emma has the most pitching experience and she had some good outings last year. She can find the strike zone and can change up her speeds."
Sophomore Alexis Tappe and junior Beth Anderson will also see time on the mound.
The Lady Hornets do have solid experience back defensively, featured by senior shortstop Kari Shipman, who was an All-State second team selection in 2010.
Sophomore Ashley Bachmann has some seasoning at first base, while Tappe will anchor second.
Junior Bayleigh Antonsen also is an experienced third baseman, while freshman Taylor Tappe and Anderson will split time behind the plate at catcher.
The defense is stout up the middle with Shipman, Alexis Tappe securing the infield at shortstop and second base, respectively. There is more of a question in centerfield, where three will be vying for playing time, in Blauert, senior Katie Byer and sophomore Katie McCorquodale.
There is good experience in right field with senior Chloe Streeper and left with senior Sadie Stender.
"I think we'll have a good defensive squad," Trautman said.
Frazee also should be able to plate plenty of runs, with Shipman being an RBI-machine, with solid bats around her.
"Our lineup will be flexible, so I think we'll have a good mix of power and speed," Trautman added.