Wildcats ready to improve on diamond


By Bruce Bentley • Last Updated 11:06 am on Thursday, April 05, 2012

Lakeview senior Liz Nielsen makes a throw to second base during a game last season, The Wildcats went 17-9 overall.

LAKEVIEW — The Lakeview Wildcats softball team went 17-9 last year. They return five experienced players and four of their top five hitters in 2012.

Returning for the Wildcats are Liz Nielsen, Andrea Henry, Chelsea Lint, Keelie Outman and Erin Vanderzand. They lost Jessica Keilholtz, Dani Johnson and Lindsay Larsen.

“We return experience to key infield and outfield positions,” Lakeview co-coach Daryl Johnson said. “We should be strong both defensively and at the the plate. We return four of our top five hitters from last year.”

Henry hit .416 last year while earning all-conference, all-district and all-region honors. Nielsen earned second team CSAA honors last year.

With the graduations of Johnson and Larsen the Wildcats lost their pitching for a year ago. Pitching and a few other improvements will be the focus this year.

“We will look for consistency on the pitching mound. All of our pitchers will be new to varsity this year,” Johnson said. “We will also continue to strive to get better offensively in run production. Defensively, we want to cut down on the other team’s opportunities.”

Pitching, though, will be the key.

“We look to compete for the league and district titles,” Johnson said. “With consistency on the mound, we will have an opportunity to reach our goals.”

Lakeview went 12-4 in the CSAA last year. Morley Stanwood is the favorite to win the league title this year.

“Morley Stanwood is probably the favorite with the return of both their all-conference pitchers,” Johnson said. “From there, I see us, Reed City and Chippewa Hills battling for the the other top spots in the league.

Lakeview split its first two games on Tuesday at Ithaca. They return to action following spring break at home against Montabella on April 10.

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