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Paynesville Press - April 2, 2003

Softball team opens spring season at home

By Ann Stalboerger

The cracks of bats can be heard once again from the softball fields at Paynesville Area High School, as the Bulldogs work hard and prepare for a dynamite season.

The Dogs - who lost seven seniors to graduation last year after finishing their season with a record of 8-10 - are fairly inexperienced but talented, according to Tim Woehler, now in his fourth year as the varsity softball coach.

Bulldogs' softball - photo by Michael Jacobson Returning letterwinners from last year's team are seniors Ann Stalboerger, Trisha Chevalier, and Ashley Mackedanz and sophomores Kim Hess and Kayla Mackedanz. Hess, who has played on the varsity fastpitch team for the Dogs since eighth grade, earned All Conference Honors last season.

The softball team returns five letterwinners from last year, when they were 8-10. The Bulldogs open their season with home games on Thursday and Friday.

Adding strength to the Bulldog lineup this year will be seniors Laura Stoneburner and Susie Swyter, juniors Trisha Wendlandt, Alisa Schmidt, and Kayla Rooney, and sophomores Laura Buermann, Amber Chevalier, and Valerie Callenius.

Defense seems to be the Dogs' strong point, according to Woehler, who expects the Dogs to be the toughest defensive team he's seen at Paynesville. "As long as we can throw strikes, we should be all right," he added.

Improving and playing well as a team are listed high on the Bulldogs' list of goals, as well as having fun.

The Dogs will be tested for the first time on Thursday, with a home game against Holdingford on the east field, starting at 5 p.m. On Friday, Rockford comes to town for another nonconference matchup, which also starts at 5 p.m.

According to Callenius, the Dogs have been working hard and are excited to start their season. "Come and support us," she said. "The more fans the better."

The Bulldogs open their conference schedule on Monday, April 7, when they travel to Albany.

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