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April 11, 2019
By: John Raffel

New Lothrop softball coach likes season prospects


SPORTS:

SCHOOLS:

New Lothrop Tom Birchmeier provided the fiollowing preview on his softball team:



1. 2018 record 19-21
   Lost in District finals

2. Key graduates: Aleya Olk, Regan Sharpe and Alivia Raleigh
Will miss the leadership these girls provided and the positive attitude they brought to practice and games every day.

3. Key Players: I feel that if we are going to have a successful season everyone on the team will have to play a key role at one time or another.
Seniors:
Joely Angst, IF/OF
Brooke Birchmeier OF/C
Charleigh Birchmeier 1st
Paige Bishop 1st/P
Giulianna Gasparotto OF
Emma Muron OF
Veronica Moody 2nd
Alyssa Schnell 2nd/3rd

Juniors:
Brianna Kline OF
Julia Martin SS
Ciara Wendling IF/C

Freshmen:
Jersey Hemgesberg P/3rd
Isabel Henige C/IF

4. Expectations:
With 6 returning starters, we have a very experienced team. I’m hoping that we can compete for a league title as well as make a run in the state tournament. We’ve got a very tough schedule which I feel will give us some very good competition and hopefully prepare us for districts. The newcomers to the team this year are very talented and are filling the vacancies left by our graduates from last year quite nicely.

5. Team Strength:
I think our biggest strength is our experience at the varsity level. We have a four year varsity player as well as three girls in their 3rd year on varsity. Also, quite a few of our girls play travel ball during the summer where they get numerous games and lots of experience.
Another strength should be our ability to score a lot of runs this year. Our lineup from top to bottom is pretty solid. We have a good mix of power and speed spread throughout the lineup that will hopefully produce a lot of runs.

6. Things to work on:
I think our biggest downfall as a team is knowing the the little things about softball that turn good players into great ones. As a coaching staff we are spending countless hours going over different situations that could happen during games so that our girls know what to do out of instinct instead of having to think about it. We’ve also been emphasizing the importance of them communicating with one another.

7. Conference:
MMAC
The MMAC is a new league this year. Some of the teams are from the old GAC with a few new ones mixed in. Top to bottom, I think this is a very competitive league in softball. Going on last years records, I would have to say either Byron or Chesaning is one of the favorites with a few other teams that have a shot at beating anyone on any given day. Our goal is to play to the best of our ability on a daily basis and to keep getting better every day. If we do this, I think we can be right near the top of the standings competing for a league title.