Bulldogs rely on experience, pitching in 2020 season

Published 3:22 pm Friday, June 12, 2020

After a two-win season in  2019, the Lake Mills softball team will rely on a big incoming group of underclassmen as well as returning experience in the field to help propel them to a higher win total.

Head coach Bill Byrnes said he and the team set the goal to be competitive this season and he is optimistic about the talent of his players.

“Our goals are to put a competitive team on the field,” Byrnes said. “Our pitching looks to be significantly improved over the last two years with the influx of the eighth-grade group. We look to our five seniors for leadership defensively and offensively as the season goes on.”

Email newsletter signup

Those five seniors are Jessa Gasteiger, Megan Groe, Hope Levine, Olivia Moen and Kate Groe, all of whom played significant roles on last year’s squad.

“In the past few seasons we have struggled with winning more than a few games,” Gasteiger said. “We hope to break those numbers with the help of our incoming pitchers and our experience as a team. We return our whole outfield and the majority of our infield. The number of returning seniors along with returning letter winners should really help us out this season.”

Since starting practice June 1, Byrnes said the team has adjusted well to the new guidelines put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said all the girls have their own helmets and many of them have their own bats. The biggest change they have had to make is taking the time to sanitize all the equipment at the end of practice.

Senior Megan Groe agreed with her coach and talked about the most challenging part about the new guidelines.

“I would say the first week of practice went very well,” Groe said. “We were focused and were able to improve a lot in just a few days. The hardest part about the new guidelines is not being able to be as close to my teammates like we normally do.”

The Bulldogs start the season Monday night with a game at home against the Eagles of West Hancock.

About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

email author More by Tyler