DCHS softball has high hopes
By Kevin Miller
Ranger-Review Staff Writer
Todd Naasz is back for his second year as the head coach for the DCHS softball team. Naasz has just three seniors but overall a total of 25 young ladies to work with for the new 2014 season.
Naasz and the Lady Red Devils qualified for the state tournament a year ago and have high hopes of returning this season.
Shay Deines, Aspen Gibbs and Sarah Temple are the three seniors Naasz will rely on to lead the team. These three seniors along with three other players return with state tournament experience. Temple will likely do the majority of pitching for the varsity squad.
In addition to the three seniors DCHS has a strong junior class. In all, there are seven juniors out for softball this season. Haylee Storlie returns after earning All-Conference honorable mention as a sophomore. Baylee Huschka, another junior, also saw a lot of varsity action in 2013.
Naasz commented, “We are counting on a lot out of the junior class.”
There are just five sophomores out for softball but they should also have a significant contribution to the success of this years’ team. Amanda Mittlestadt is one of these sophomores. Last year Mittlestadt was one of the top offensive players for Naasz. She had the highest batting average on the team at over .400. Lexi Pettersen is one of the five sophomores Naasz thinks will see plenty of varsity action.
The freshmaen class has the largest number of girls out for softball at 10. A couple of the freshmen could battle for some varsity time, especially Wyniah Mintz. Naasz has Mintz working in several positions, including pitcher.
“We will just play it one game at a time,” Naasz said of the Lady Devil team. “The girls have been working very hard and putting in a lot of time.”
The team started out with two-a-day practices at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Unfortunately due to weather they have been able to get outside for just four practices.
“So far we have had a lot of gym time,” Naasz added.
Last year the Lady Red Devils had a 6-4 conference record which earned them a birth at the State A tournament. Naasz comment about this year, “I like our chances as being one of the three teams from our conference going to state.”
The Lady Red Devils were scheduled to open their season in a tournament at Miles City on Tuesday but weather forced its postponement. According to Naasz they may be able to schedule something in for this weekend. If not the Devils are set to travel to Dickinson for games on Monday.
The home dates that are scheduled for DCHS are on April 14, April 15, April 17, April 22 and May 5.
The Eastern A divisional tournament is to be held in Laurel. This is the first year that a divisional tourney will determine the Eastern A teams that advance to state. Previously it was the season’s conference record that sent the top three teams on to state. The State A championship tournament will be held in Polson.
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