Young, but seasoned, LP-A softball has high goals
Despite a youthful lineup for the 2012 season, the Lake Park-Audubon softball team will have plenty of seasoning to work with.
"We are young, but we do have a lot of experience coming back," said first-year head coach Bryan Anderson. "We are not rebuilding."
The strong core of junior pitcher Maegan Anderson, senior Tate Hall and junior Carissa Raaen will provide leadership and bring over 14 years of varsity experience combined.
"Tate and Carissa will provide our power and Maegan will be throwing the majority of our pitches," Anderson said.
Two-year starter freshman Cheyanne Nelson also returns to anchor the infield at shortstop and be a prototypical leadoff hitter with plenty of speed.
Freshmen Jessie Swegarden and Megan Hilfer also bring top athleticism, along with good defense and are solid contact hitters.
Maegan Anderson has been on varsity since her seventh grade year, so the pressure of being the starting pitcher should not be a factor.
"She isn't new to the circle," said coach Anderson, who is Maegan's father. "She has really worked hard into keeping the ball in the strike zone and bringing a good variety of pitches.
"Maegan will also be relying on her defense behind her, because she will be throwing strikes."
Assistant coach and pitching guru Bob Soukup added Anderson has added a notches of speed, as well.
"She will get her share of strikeouts," Soukup added.
A big loss from last year's team was multiple year starter Chelsea Raaen at catcher.
She is back as an assistant and is tutoring sophomore Riley Burnside and seventh grader Aubrey Sommerville.
"It's Riley's first year at catcher, but she wants to be there and she is working hard at it," Anderson said.
Hall and Carissa Raaen will secure the corners, while sophomore Samantha Anglin will bring experience in the infield, as well.
The outfield will be young, with Hilfer, freshman Molly Sommerville and junior Lydia Danielson being the frontrunners.
With Hall and Raaen in the lineup to give the Raiders a couple of hard thumpers, the rest of the team will need to reach base.
That means being disciplined at the plate and not swinging at bad pitches.
"We'll have a little different style offensively than in the past," the LP-A coach commented. "We do have real good team speed, so we will have to manufacture some runs."
This year also has good numbers out, so the Raiders will be fielding a junior varsity team, as well.
"I think we can compete with the best of the Pine to Prairie Conference and with our numbers which are out, our longtime goal is to be a perennial power," Anderson stated. "I'm excited about the future."
The 2012 Lake Park-Audubon softball schedule:
10 at Frazee
12 at Detroit Lakes
17 at Mahnomen/Waubun
24 at Fosston
26 at Norman County
1 at Win-E-Mac
3 Red Lake County Central
8 at Fertile-Beltrami