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Calvert Softball

March 28, 2014
The Advertiser-Tribune

Coach: Rob Ritzler, first season

2013: 8-17, 2-9 Midland Athletic League (ninth).

Returning letterwinners: Seniors Nicole Bickley (P/1B/3B); Kate Brickner (SS); Margaret Bowers (C). Juniors Mikayla Dariano (3B/2B/SS); Nicole Fretz (2B/OF). Sophomores Gabby Bennett (P/3B/2B); Allison Huss (1B); Taylor Ritzler (OF); Cassie Reinhart (2B).

Others: Junior Meridith Lucius (OF/C). Sophomores Kali Rohrbach (IF); Alexandria Wick (OF). Freshmen Kristen Bowers (C/1B); Madison Jones (OF/P); Allie Beckley (1B); Sidney Feltner (OF).

Outlook: A lot is the same for the Senecas coaching staff.

Same name.

Same attitude

Different coach.

Amanda Ritzler took a job at her alma mater, Ohio Dominican University, as an assistant softball coach, and thus the reigns were turned over to her father, Rob, this year.

"I went to some games last year. I have the same assistant coaches, including Deanna King," the elder Ritzler said. "I know a lot of the girls from basketball. They needed someone and I jumped in with two feet and we'll see where we go. (Amanda) made a big improvement last year and I just hope to continue that improvement."

The improvement could be seen in the pitching department where Bickley threw more than 100 innings last year, striking out 66. She yielded 98 runs but only 50 of those were earned.

"Our pitching and our depth should be very good," Ritzler said. "Defensively we need to get better. It cost us some games last year."

Bennett will also see time on the hill again after throwing 30 innings last year.

The two will split time at third depending on who is pitching. Dariano will also play there.

Bickley could also play first along with Huss.

At second, there's a platoon of Fretz and Reinhart with Brickner taking care of business at shortstop.

Taylor Ritzler is the only sure thing in the outfield in center field. Coach Ritzler said the corner outfield spots were up for grabs at this point.

Bowers returns behind the plate.

It's the final rendition of the MAL and Ritzler said the same saucy teams will clog the top spots.

"I'm guessing New Riegel is up there with Fremont St. Joe. I know New Riegel returns quite a bit," Ritzler said. "I'm hoping for middle of the pack and maybe better than that. If defense gets better, pitching holds out and our hitting gets better, we can improve from last year."

In fact, that's Ritzler's overarching goal for the year.

"We want to improve on last year and get better every day," Ritzler said.



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