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Paynesville Press - April 3, 2002

Bulldogs look to better .500 record

By Jenny Habben

With the snow melting, the softball team is ready to go outside to practice and play games.

"We've all been working really hard inside and we're ready to get outside and practice on a real field," said senior Laurie Barten.

The Bulldogs hope that the team will have good chemistry and get along. They dream to improve on last year's record (9-9), which they have a high probability of doing.

Last season, the Bulldogs had wins over Melrose, Albany, LPGE, Kimball, ACGC, St. Cloud Cathedral, and Sauk Centre.

The softball team has nine returning varsity players from last year: seniors Barten, Amy Buermann, Kayla Flanders, Jen Habben, Kelli Heinen, Lisa Hemingson, Heather Roos, junior Ann Stalboerger, and freshman Kim Hess.

Other players expected to see varsity action this year are juniors Trisha Chevalier and Ashley Mackedanz and sophomore Trisha Wendlandt.

Coach Tim Woehler, who is in his third year as head coach, said that he expects the Bulldogs to challenge for the conference title and to have a first-round playoff game at home.

A possible weakness for the Bulldogs this season may be players having to learn new positions and the team also needs to come up with a consistent two and three pitcher.

Hemingson will be the number one pitcher while Habben, Roos, and Heinen alternate as the number two pitcher.

"A big strength for the team this season are the seven seniors with a nice mix of underclassmen," said coach Woehler.

Woehler believes that Litchfield, Sauk Centre, and Melrose will be the toughest competition in the conference this season.

The varsity team will again be playing home games on the east softball field, next to the Chladek Addition. The junior varsity will be playing on the west field, closer to the high school parking lot.

Back for her third year is Dawn Knoll as junior varsity coach. The softball team will have a ninth grade team this year due to the high numbers, and Jessica Louis will be the coach.

The Bulldogs had games against Kimball and New London-Spicer scheduled this week, but they have already been cancelled due to the snow.

Next Monday, April 8, the Bulldogs have a game scheduled at Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa at 4:30 p.m. Their first conference game is scheduled for Thursday, April 11, at Melrose at 4:30 p.m.

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