The Waterloo softball team is hoping to build off last season’s 16-13 record, but will have to do so without seven graduating seniors from a year ago.
In 2013, the Bulldogs took second in the Mississippi Valley Conference and lost to Columbia in the regional championship. Gone from that team are Bridget Bushong, Annie Crouch, Tiffany Harbison, Taylor Krekorian, Bryce Latchem, Maddie Mercer and Haley Schlecht.
“They were all varsity starters for three or more years,” head coach Sarah Renner said. “We are looking to our juniors and seniors to fill those positions, with some freshmen and sophomores working for the last couple of spots.
“In the end, it will most likely come down to the players with the most consistent bats.”
The ‘Dogs return a good nucleus of young players from last year’s team. Senior Taylor Yearian started at first base last year, but will most likely catch this season. She hit .361 in 2013.
Senior Kady Cecena, out most of last year with a broken finger, will return to the outfield.
Junior Kylie Albrecht saw time in left field second base last season, but will most likely play third base this year. She hit .442 last season.
Junior Julia Probst also returns, and will play the outfield.
Kaitlyn Storm and Kasey Bradley, both juniors, played as freshmen but sat out last year and will be returning to the team for 2014.
Other returning players who could have an impact in 2014 are Mallory Meyer (3-1, 3.31 on the mound in 2013) and Aimee Dillenberger (.250 average in 2013).
“Though we are young, this group is very talented,” Renner said. “I expect the team to have a successful season and once again compete for the conference and regional championships.”
As for key games on the schedule, Renner said fellow Class 3A teams Columbia, Triad and Highland should be strong competitors.
“I look forward to playing them and Gibault and Valmeyer, the other Monroe County schools,” she said.
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