The Ashby softball team finished with a 2-13 record last season, but a new head coach brings new blood into the equation.
First-year coach Chad Koep says the team is ready to make strides toward a successful season this year.
"As a team, we're focused on improving defensively and being more competitive within our conference," he said. "We have a young and talented team that works extremely hard and is hungry for success."
Brandon-Evansville and New York Mills are the teams to beat in the Pheasant Conference and Section 6A, respectively, according to Koep.
Nine letterwinners are back from last year's varsity squad for the Arrows, including seniors Riley Zastrow, Mickayla Dahlen and Mackenzie Ecker, juniors Hannah Ras and Abbigal Evavold, sophomores Josey Ness and Tae-yah Johnson and freshmen Courtney Koefod and Kalista Aamot.
"Pitching will be an area of strength for us this year, along with a much-improved offense," said Koep. "Defense was an area of weakness last year that we'll continue to build on throughout the season. Improving overall fundamentals on the defensive side of the ball will be a huge focus this year."
Zastrow, Ness and Barry are the pitchers listed on the Arrows' roster.
2017 ASHBY SOFTBALL
SENIORS - Riley Zastrow, Mikayla Dahlen, Mackenzie Ecker
JUNIORS - Abbigal Evavold, Hannah Ras
SOPHOMORES - Elli Johnsrud, Tae-yah Johnson, Josey Ness
FRESHMEN - Courtney Koefod, Kalista Aamot, Brynn Krupke, Amelia Barry
COACHES - Head coach - Chad Koep, 1st year; Assistant Coach - Laura Pettit
ASHBY SOFTBALL SCHEDULE
April 3 vs. Frazee, 5 p.m.
April 4 vs. WCA, 5 p.m.
April 7 at Brandon-Evansville, 4:30 p.m.
April 10 at Barnesville, 5 p.m.
April 11 at Hillcrest, 5 p.m.
April 13 vs. CGB, 5 p.m.
April 18 vs. Hancock, 5 p.m.
April 21 at WHN, 5 p.m.
April 25 at Ortonville, 5 p.m.
April 28 at WCA, 4:30 p.m.
May 2 vs. Brandon-Evansville, 4:30 p.m.
May 4 vs. Hillcrest, 5 p.m.
May 5 vs. Parkers Prairie, 5 p.m.
May 8 at CGB, 5 p.m.
May 12 at Hancock, 5 p.m.
May 15 vs. WHN, 5 p.m.
May 16 vs. Pelican Rapids, 5 p.m.
May 18 vs. Ortonville, 5 p.m.