THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
Peshtigo, Wausaukee Look To Rule M-O Softball
Won Or Shared Past Eight Titles
In his second season as head coach of the Peshtigo Bulldog softball team, Tom Christensen will be fielding a new-look squad this season as he adjusts to roster changes and player development. But the end result looks to stay the same: Play fundamentally sound softball and contend for the conference title.
More than three weeks spent practicing inside due to Mother Nature's refusal to cooperate have finally given way to muddy fields and fresh air and the Bulldogs are ready for the season to begin.
"The whole team is fired up to be out there," said coach Christensen. "We've got a pitcher and catcher in Mazie Reif and Dani Zahn, I think they were ready to start playing this season the day after our last season ended."
It will be the duo of Reif and Zahn, both seniors making up the core of a very strong pitching team, that will carry the Peshtigo group to success this year but there are very talented players all over the field.
Kelly Staudenmaier, a first-team all-conference selection in 2013, will be moving from right to center field while second teamer from last year's all-conference squad, Jaden Russell, will be in left, along with Danielle Sparks in right to round out an all-senior outfield that should prove tough on defense.
Also contributing this year will be seniors Amy Courtois and Cady Caebe; juniors Brooke Immel and Carlee Mylener along with sophomores Ryleigh Klaver, Teja Tonn and Amanda Majewski.
Coach Christensen expects good results from his group right away but knows it will be a long season in conference play as Wausaukee, co-conference champs from a year ago, looks to be strong as usual in preseason scouting.
"I believe Wausaukee will be our biggest opponent in the conference. Sue (Stoltenberg) does a tremendous job with that team," predicts Christensen. "But you know, I'm not ruling out Crivitz. I know they've lost some players from last year but (Amanda) Pickett, she's a good pitcher and I wouldn't rule that team out to have a good year also. We won't look past a team like that"
Another Banner Year
It truly would have been a shame had the blood clot that kept Lauren Edlbeck off the floor for her senior season of basketball also managed to sideline the Wausaukee standout during her final campaign on the mound for Sue Stoltenberg's Rangers.
Thankfully, that's not the case as Edlbeck, one of the area's most polished all-around athletes, has rebounded from her medical condition and is poised to lead the defending co-conference champion Wausaukee gang in her fourth year as the team's starting pitcher.
Joining Edlbeck from the senior class this season will be Crysta Clark at shortstop, Bethany Gabriel, Kendra Bakaus and Morgan Zeutzius. Juniors Veronica Shaw and Kaylor DeLaet will be heavy contributors to the team while players looking to pick up action this year include sophomores Amber Dunlap, Angel Melton and Rachel Ferrington as well as freshman standout Alexis Ranallo.