By PATRICK SLACK
With a 7-12 record and a sixth place finish in the Central Minnesota Conference, the Pierz softball team’s regular season was rather ordinary last year.
However, the postseason was anything but, as the Pioneers rattled off three wins in a row to claim the Sub-Section 6AA East championship before narrowly losing in the section semifinals.
While the Pioneers lost pitcher Katelyn Fuhrman and Autumn Woitalla to graduation, they bring back the bulk of their line-up from a year ago.
Seven juniors return, led by .471 hitter Megan Boser (shortstop), as well as Michael Rocheleau (outfield), Miranda Woitalla (second base), Sara Schlegel (catcher), Brook Brausen (third base), Elizabeth Tomala (pitcher/center field) and Anna Welle (first base).
Looking to join in the mix and gain experience of their own are senior Sam Litke (outfield), junior Morgan Waytashek (outfield) and sophomores Tiara Hopkins (pitcher) and Lynn Funk (catcher/outfield).
Litke is the lone senior on this year’s team.
“The Pioneers are bringing a lot of experience to the playing field,” Pierz head coach Rachel Werk said. “(We) look to be tough all the way around so it should be an exciting season.”
On top of a tough conference schedule, the Pioneers have added challenging games against section opponents Albany and Mora this spring.
Pierz opens the season at Mora, Tuesday, and hosts Little Falls, Thursday.