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Laker softball brings back talent

The Minnewaska softball team returns a strong nucleus from a 14-7 team last year that hopes to compete for another West Central Conference championship in 2014.

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The Lakers won the WCC last year after going 13-1 in league play. They went on to make the subsection semifinals before falling to Pequot Lakes 2-1 in an elimination game.

Back from that group are eight letter winners. Senior pitcher Mady Phillips anchors the pitching staff and is joined by fellow seniors Allyssa Engfer, Kacia Kollman and Shanae Suchy. Juniors Morgan Majerus, Jordyn Roggenkamp, Rachel Bakko and sophomore Mason Schlief are also back as letter winners from last year.

They will be led by 28-year head coach Steve Hoffman. Hoffman enters the season with a 441-152 record. He hopes to see Baily Pooler, Carley Stewart, Emily Edmunds, Abby VerSteeg, Taylor Amundson, Morgan Hess and Dakota Schmianda as being able to add some depth to this year’s team.

Hoffman said pitching depth and the Lakers’ team speed will be their strengths with a lack of experience at some key positions being something Minnewaska will have to overcome. He listed Morris Area and Sauk Centre as two teams to overcome in the conference, with Rocori and Staples-Motley being the teams to beat in the 6AA tournament.


ROSTER – SENIORS – Kacia Kollman, IF; Allyssa Engfer, IF; Shanae Suchy, IF; Mady Phillips, P

JUNIORS – Morgan Majerus, OF; Jordan Roggenkamp, IF; Rachel Bakko, P; Hayley Lee, OF; Nichole Duff, OF; Dakohta Schmainda, OF

SOPHOMORES – Emily Edmunds, OF; Mason Schlief, C; Ashley Bakko, IF; Mary Wuollet, OF; Erin Pobuda, OF

FRESHMEN – Carley Stewart, IF; Bayley Pooler, OF; Alisha Vigil, IF; Hunter Blakeman, OF; Ashley Blom, IF; Morgan Hess, P; Abby VerSteeg, IF; Taylor Amundson, IF; Alicia Pederson, IF; M’Kenzy Larson, OF; Shannon Strutz, OF; Hailey Strutz, OF

COACHES – Head coach – Steve Hoffman – 28th season; 441-152; Assistant coach – Tabby Swenson


April 7 vs. Breckenridge, 4:30 p.m.

April 8 vs. ACGC, 5 p.m.

April 10 at Yellow Medicine East, 5 p.m.

April 12 Minnewaska Tournament

April 15 vs. Paynesville, 5 p.m.

April 17 vs. Osakis, 4:30 p.m.

April 22 vs. Montevideo, 5 p.m.

April 25 at Melrose, 5 p.m.

April 28 at B.O.L.D, 5 p.m.

April 29 vs. Sauk Centre, 5 p.m.

May 1 at Morris, 5 p.m.

May 2 at Montevideo, 5 p.m.

May 5 vs. Staples-Motley, 5 p.m.

May 6 vs. Benson, 5 p.m.

May 8 vs. Melrose, 5 p.m.

May 9 at Sauk Centre, 4 p.m.

May 12 vs. Wadena-Deer Creek, 5 p.m.

May 13 vs. Morris, 5 p.m.

May 16 Subsection Tournament, TBD

Eric Morken

Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.

(320) 763-1229