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Alex softball preview: Pitching, hitting strengths of Cardinals

Emily Kuennen looks over to her dugout and smiles after hitting a big triple in a game against Sauk Rapids-Rice on May 9, 2013. Kuennen is one of four seniors on the Alexandria roster this spring. (Eric Morken/Echo Press)

After winning a conference championship last season, the Alexandria softball team will look to stay competitive with a number of returning letter winners.

The Cardinals have six letter winners returning from a team that finished 14-1 in Central Lakes Conference play. The players include three pitchers in Taylor Ellingson, Kaila DeWanz and Bria Schuler; two infielders in Anna Lee and Sarah Bruzek; and catcher Emily Kuennen.

But the team will also have to replace seven letters winners from 2012-2013.

Head coach Randy Albers expects Courtney Bitzan, Carly Dropik, Madison Revering, Anna Lee and Bria Schueler to replace some holes in the lineup and compete for more playing time this season.

Albers said the team’s strengths will be in pitching and hitting, and defense will be an area of the team that needs improvement.

In the CLC, Albers expects Brainerd, Rocori and Sauk Rapids-Rice to be competitive. Big Lake, Bemidji, Brainerd and Sauk Rapids should be among teams to watch out for in the Cardinals’ subsection of 8AAA.

ALEXANDRIA ROSTER

SENIORS – Taylor Ellingson, Aubree Schmidt, Emily Kuennen, Sarah Bruzek

JUNIORS – Anna Lee, Kaila DeWanz, Madison Revering, Carly Dropik, Courtney Bitzan, Jana Roste, Bria Schueler, Daishyia Gardner

SOPHOMORES – Lexi Bear, Kelsea Navratil, Hayley Burns, Lauren Niska, Natalie Teclaw, Amy Jost, Nora Merk, Caley Haugen, Karsen Granning

FRESHMAN – Ellie Ronning, McKenzie Revering, Emma Ziegler

COACHES – HEAD COACH – Randy Albers; ASSISTANT COACHES – Mitch Lock, Sarah Curley, Carol Hughs

Blaze Fugina

Blaze Fugina is the sports editor of the Woodbury and South Washington County Bulletin newspapers. Previously, Blaze worked as a sports editor for the Pierce County Herald and a sports reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in May of 2011. You can follow Blaze on Twitter at @BlazeFugina.

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