By: John Raffel
Coleman softball team ready to open season
For Coleman Comet Softball team, Chad Klopf is head coach in his 9th Season (206 Wins 87 losses)
Record and quick recap of last year: last season 30-10. 4th consecutive season winning the MSAC Championship, District and Regional championships. Won our second straight quarterfinal with a 1-0 victory over Frankfort. Made our second straight Final Four appearance. Advanced to the state final, and lost to Centrevile 5-2. Graduated two all state seniors in Autumn Tubbs and Faith Barden (currently pitching for Lawrence Tech).
Returning players along with grade and position:
Jaden Berthume Sr. P/3rd, Makailyn Monson Sr. CF, Kenzie Miller Sr. 2nd, Annabelle Bovee Sr. SS/P, Abigail Tubbs Jr. 3rd/OF, Brianna Townsend Jr. 1st/C, Kylie Herkel Jr. C/1st
Newcomers along with grade and position:
Zoe Merrilat Jr. OF/IF, Katelyn Pnacek Fr. C/OF/IF, Makayla Rogers Jr. UTL., Madison Gross Jr. UTL.
"We have a lot to replace on the mound and in the batting order with the graduation of Faith and Autumn, but I think we have the lineup to be able to cover that lost production at the plate. And with Jaden on the mound we have confidence in a proven pitcher to pick up where we left off last year.
'Our seniors will be our biggest leaders. Jaden, Makailyn, and Kenzie are going into their fourth season as varsity starters, and Annabelle is going into her third season. That’s a lot of experience for us to call on. Plus, three juniors are playing their third season as well.
"We expect Katelyn Pnacek to make an impact as a freshman. She has a lot of power at the plate, can run the bases well, and can play almost anywhere we need to put her on the field. We are also excited to have Zoe Merrilat back from a knee injury that kept her from being able to play last year.
"Experience! You can never say enough about being experienced. Most of these girls have played on the biggest stage more than once. We should be a solid hitting lineup and we will play good defense behind good pitching.
"Team goals are pretty much the same as the past few years. Get back to where we were last year and take one more step.
'Well we are currently ranked #1 in Division 4. Should we be there at this point? Time will tell. We are hosting USA and Rogers City this year, all three teams were in the final four last season. That weekend will give us a good idea of how everyone stacks up.
"At this point in the season we focus on getting in shape. Major focus is on hitting, when you get stuck inside at the start of the season hitting is one thing you can really focus on."