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2021 AREA HIGH SCHOOL SOFTBALL PREVIEW

Updated: Apr 28


Marshfield's Courtney Donahue will return to the mound for the Tigers this spring after earning second-team all-Wisconisn Valley Conference honors as a freshman in 2019. (Photo by Paul Lecker/For Zaleski Sports)

By Paul Lecker

Zaleski Sports


After a 2020 season missed, area high school softball teams will be hitting the fields across Wisconsin again, finally, on Tuesday as the 2021 WIAA season gets underway.


While every team will have its challenges in regards to in-game experience, or lack of it, a number of accomplished players will be returning after competing as freshmen or sophomores in 2019.


Wisconsin Rapids Assumption and Auburndale shared the Marawood Conference South Division title with Marathon, and Stevens Point Pacelli (Central Wisconsin Conference South Division) and Mosinee (Great Northern Conference) are also coming off conference championships in 2019.


Here’s a look at some of the area teams and what they have brewing in 2021. Stay up-to-date with our daily online broadcast schedule on the Zaleski Sports Facebook page and at zaleskisports.com.


AUBURNDALE EAGLES

Coach: Mike Schulte, first year.

2019 record: 13-5, 8-2 Marawood Conference South Division co-champions.

Returning players: Georgi Schmutzer, sr., SS; Kaydee Jo Zenner, sr., P/3B; Hailey Grimm, sr., P/SS; Kaitlyn Kundinger, sr., 3B/P/RF; Kylie Frischman, jr., LF; Faith Hafermann, sr., 3B.


ASSUMPTION ROYALS

Co-coaches: Rob Schill and Charlie Nelson, fifth year, 62-17 record.

2019 record: 11-4, 8-2 Marawood Conference South Division co-champions.

Returning players: Sammy Nelson, sr., 2B/SS, first-team all-Marawood South, .442 batting average in 2019; Kendall Schmidt, sr., utility, .324 average in 2019; Abbi Berard, sr., OF; Anna Tagarelli, sr., OF.

From Coach Schill: “Expectations are always high for Assumption softball. We have won or shared part of the Marawood South Conference title for the past three years (2017, 2018, and 2019) and we expect to be in the mix again this year. We are young, but talented. Limiting mistakes, growing as a team and getting better one day at a time will be our biggest focus as a coaching staff. With a nice group of freshman and sophomores, some with softball experience and some without, and some great senior leadership the potential for this team rises every day we practice.”


COLUMBUS CATHOLIC DONS

Coach: Troy Zimmermann, third year.

2019 record: 6-12, 5-9 sixth place in Cloverbelt Conference East Division.

Returning players: Sydney Mauritz, sr., 2B; Breanna Duda, jr., OF/C; Haley Van Wyhem, jr., OF; Autumn, jr., OF; Autumn Vine, jr., OF/1B; Janelle Haupt, jr., OF.

Top newcomers: Alyssa Rueth, sr., SS/C; Hailey Zimmermann, so., P/SS; Cierra Dieringer, so., C/IF; Sam Casperson, fr., 3B/P; Rhya Dieringer, fr., OF; Mattea Schlafke, fr., IF; Raella Schueller, fr., 1B.

From Coach Zimmermann: “Expectations are to always compete. We are extremely young with only two seniors, but have experience with those young players. That being said, I expect all my freshmen to get playing time this season. They’ve been doing well in practices and I’m looking forward to see what they can do during games. I’m hoping with strong pitching and a solid defense we’ll be competitive in our conference.”

EDGAR WILDCATS

Coach: Angela Totzke.

2019 record: 3-15, 0-10 Marawood Conference South Division.

Returning players: Skylee Manecke, jr., P/SS/OF; Jessica Mucha, P/SS/OF; Jaylee Skrzypchak, sr., 2B; Karlin Lipinski, jr., OF; Haylee Schreiber, jr., OF; Devanna Berry, sr., 1B.


GREENWOOD/LOYAL

Coach: Heidi Ashbeck.

2019 record: Greenwood 14-6, 11-3 second place in Cloverbelt Conference East Division; Loyal 11-8, 8-5 fourth place in Cloverbelt Conference East Division.

Returning players: Gracie North, 1B; Mesa Rasmussen, RF; Emma Schlough, CF; Jade Springer; Kaitlyn Lindner, P; Kayla Bremmer, 3B; Alyssa Clinstman; McKenna Schley, CF.

Top newcomers: Anna Lindner, LF; Aspen Hagen, 2B.

From Coach Ashbeck: “This is the first year we have combined as a co-op, hoping to have a winning season by winning conference and continued success in the playoffs.”


MARSHFIELD TIGERS

Coach: Danny Costa, sixth year, 77-36 record.

2019 record: 16-10, 7-5 tied for third in Wisconsin Valley Conference.

Returning players (statistics from 2019): Courtney Donahue, jr., P/OF, second-team all-Wisconsin Valley Conference pitcher, 135 strikeouts in 124 innings, 3.93 ERA, 7-6 record; Sandra Costa, jr., P/1B, 3-2, 39 strikeouts in 27 innings; Taylor Barwick, second-team all-WVC, .333 average, six doubles, eight RBIs; Madalen Bornbach, jr., C/utility, .397 average, one homer, 21 RBIs, 10 doubles, .460 on-base percentage; Lydia Schaefer, sr., 2B, .225 average, five RBIs; Brianna Jakobi, sr., 3B, .307 average, one homer, eight doubles, 13 RBIs; Emma Dorhorst, sr., utility, .154 average, two RBIs; Brooklyn Bohman, jr., OF, .409 average, three doubles, 14 runs.

Top newcomers: Shaya Brogan, fr., OF; Madison Voss, jr., utility.

From Coach Costa: “Our expectations remain the same year after year and that is to always challenge for a conference championship and compete at a high level. Expectations are high for this team this year. We return two pitchers with varsity experience, multiple all-conference players, and nine returning varsity players and five returning starters. We expect that the players who saw limited time in 2019 to play a huge part in our success this year. We have a coaching staff this year with lots of experience. Former Marshfield coach Mike Voss re-joins the staff and new to the staff is varsity assistant Wayne Jakobi. Head JV coach Deanna Cole and JV assistant Jordan Pretsch do a great Job at the JV level getting girls ready to get to the next level and teaching the game.”


MOSINEE INDIANS

Coach: Kelly Remondini.

2019 record: 22-1, 12-0 Great Northern Conference champions.

Information on roster not provided.


NEILLSVILLE WARRIORS

Coach: Melissa Stockheimer.

2019 record: 10-6, 10-4 third place in Cloverbelt Conference East Division.

Information on roster not provided.


PACELLI CARDINALS

Coach: Ann Molski.

2019 record: 19-7, 11-1 Central Wisconsin Conference South Division champions.

Information on roster not provided.


SPENCER ROCKETS

Coach: Heidi Guenther, first year.

2019 record: 8-13, 6-8 fifth place in Cloverbelt Conference East Division.

Information on roster not provided.


STRATFORD TIGERS

Coach: Mandy Pankratz, 19th year overall, 15th at Stratford, 207-151 record.

2019 record: 8-12, 4-6 fourth place Marawood Conference South Division.

Returning player: Maria Schoenfuss, sr.,OF.

Top newcomers: Syd Busche, sr., IF; Sarah Martin, sr., OF; Riley Flink, sr., OF; Meg Wiese, jr., C/IF; Ally Zuleger, jr., P/IF; Delaney Dennee, jr., utility; Kylee Manecke, jr., utility; Lizzie Wenzel, jr. OF; Tessa Berg, so., IF/C; Tessa Miller, so., utility; Bailey Linzmeier, so., IF; Lexie Christopherson, so., utility; Sonia Peterson, so., P/IF; Anna Weix, so., OF; Kressa Wenzel, fr., IF.

From Coach Pankratz: "We want to get better each day we are on the diamond, be a team, trust one another, and have fun playing this great game."

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