Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Wolves look to build off strong finish

Patrick Slack
Posted 4/12/17

ELY - With seven starters returning, the Ely softball team is looking to build off of a strong finish to last year’s season as it opens the spring.

The Wolves closed the regular season by …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Wolves look to build off strong finish

Posted

ELY - With seven starters returning, the Ely softball team is looking to build off of a strong finish to last year’s season as it opens the spring.

The Wolves closed the regular season by winning three of five games a year ago and proceeded to go 2-2 in the playoffs, with both losses coming by just one run.

“We hope to be competitive with everyone on our schedule,” Ely head coach Tom McDonald said. “We ended up 9-12 last year, but finished strong and won a couple of playoff games, so we are hoping to build off of that.”

Returning starters for Ely include seniors Cate DeRemee (catcher), Courtney Kellogg (center field) and Anna Urbas (first base), junior Shayla Zaverl (third base), sophomore Lida Dodge (shortstop) and freshmen Erika Mattson (pitcher) and Jenna Merhar (right field).

Expected to vie for the lineup’s two vacant spots are freshman McCartney Kaercher at second base and a combination of freshman Adrianna Bishop, eighth-grader Julia Schwinghamer and seventh-grader Charly Flom in left field.

The Wolves hope to feature a balanced offense, led by Urbas, who hit .433 and drove in 23 runs last season.

“Hopefully as the season progresses we will get our offense better, as we have a couple of girls who did not get any varsity at bats last year,” McDonald said.

The true key to the team’s season, though, will be on the defensive side behind Mattson, who struck out 112 batters last spring.

“I think our success will be how well we play defensively,” McDonald said. “Erika has good control, but hopefully we can make plays behind her.”

The Wolves opened the season with a tall order on Friday, going up against Class AA Two Harbors, which went 13-8 last season.

Ely picked up a quick run in the first inning, but couldn’t manufacture any more offense after that, falling 5-1 at home.

“I thought we competed well with them, but just couldn’t generate any offense against their pitcher,” McDonald said. “We played well defensively though and only had one error in the game so that was a positive.”

Urbas, Kellogg, Zaverl and Merhar picked up Ely’s four hits, with Kellogg scoring the team’s lone run.

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment