ORIGINALLY WRITTEN ANDREW OTTOSON
by Andrew Ottoson
The Free Press
Coming off a 4-24-2 season in 2006 and a 2-14 finish in conference play, the Tabor College softball team will have its work cut out for it in 2007.
The Bluejays have holes to fill that opened with the graduation of Jessica Appelhanz, Johannah Love, Jacqueline Schnell, Sara Thiessen, Stephanie Stuber and Porsche Davis.
“With a roster that totals 11 players, many will be called on to play more than one position in the field,” head coach Steve Berg said.
April Funk is the lone senior on the team.
“She has stepped up her leadership on and off the field,” Berg said. “She’ll be called on to pitch as well as patrol the outfield.”
Danielle Goossen is a junior who will play third base.
“Danielle will hit in the heart of the lineup this year,” Berg said. “Defensively, she’s agile, with a quick glove and a strong arm.”
With two upperclassmen returning to a squad that lost six players to graduation, Berg’s team will lean heavily on its corps of sophomores.
Clancey Kelley headlines the group entering its second year.
“Clancey is the only returning player that received all-KCAC honorable mention on the squad last season,” Berg said. “She will hit leadoff-her speed on the bases should put pressure on the opposition defense-and she covers a lot of territory in the outfield,” he added.
Pitcher Kalie George is one of the team’s options on the mound. George will also play shortstop.
“(George) worked hard during January…she will log many innings as a pitcher this year,” Berg said.
Stephanie Regrut will play shortstop and second base.
“She is a competitor who will be counted on to drive in key runs,” Berg said.
Jesica Brucks will play first base and catcher.
Five freshmen round out the young team’s roster.
Alyssa Voth will be the team’s primary catcher.
Aubrey Whitehorn brings versatile experience to both the outfield and second base and Kirsten Krehbiel will play outfield.
“(Krehbiel) has limited experience with fast-pitch, but has improved defensively in the preseason.”
Emily Heizelman will come off the bench, and Stephanie Silvas will join the team following the conclusion of the basketball post-season tournament.
“Silvas will add speed to the lineup, and she could see time as a pitcher when her arm is ready,” Berg said.
Johannah Hein will serve as assistant coach.