Mitchell softball looks to improve on 5th-place finishAfter a fifth-place finish in its first year of competition at the Class AA level, the Mitchell fastpitch softball team is looking to improve on that, despite losing eight players from last year’s squad to graduation.
By: Kevin Pottebaum, The Daily Republic
After a fifth-place finish in its first year of competition at the Class AA level, the Mitchell fastpitch softball team is looking to improve on that, despite losing eight players from last year’s squad to graduation.
Mitchell coach Jim Misiaszek said he has high hopes for his team as two pitchers return — Krista Huber and Hallie Misiaszek — as well as the team’s starting catcher — Abby Sudbeck.
“Every year you go into the season wondering who are going to be your pitchers,” Jim Misiaszek said. “This is the first year we haven’t had to worry about that. As a coach, it’s comforting to know that you don’t have to worry about that.”
Coach Misiaszek said the team normally uses a third pitcher, but he said this year the team plans to use Huber and Hallie Misiaszek for the most part.
“These two pitchers have a lot of experience,” coach Misiaszek said.
Along with the two pitchers and the team’s catcher, first baseman Courtney Moore and Emily Sudbeck return to the starting lineup for the Kernels.
Both players were all-state selection from a year ago and will look to be key contributors once again, although Emily Sudbeck may have a different look to her at the plate.
Jim Misiaszek said last season Emily Sudbeck led the team in home runs and RBIs from the right side of the plate, but the team lacked a true leadoff hitter entering this season and Sudbeck has been working at using her speed to help out her team.
Sudbeck has developed a slap-hitting style from the left side of the plate to use in situations for Mitchell.
“It’s something she wants to do and something we want to see her try,” Misiaszek said. “It’s a work in progress, but she’s so fast and just a talented girl.”
Misiaszek said if Sudbeck struggles with the new batting style, she will simply go back to her normal style from the right-handed batter’s box.
“It won’t be all the time,” Misiaszek said of Sudbeck’s left-handed hitting. “It’s just to put pressure on the defense in situations.”
New players to Mitchell’s varsity squad include senior Ashley Larson and freshman Hannah Webster along with juniors Kelsey Weber, Jenna Skinner, Amy Gaetze and Alex Blindauer. Coach Misiaszek said he expects a few other girls to get some varsity action this season as well.
The Kernels’ season kicks off at 6 p.m. Tuesday with a doubleheader against Sioux Falls O’Gorman in Sioux Falls. The team’s first home contest is against Sioux Falls Washington at 6 p.m. on Aug. 27.