By Chris Parker
Cassville softball will field a young team with just one junior and two seniors returning to the roster this year.
Junior Kyren Postlewait will be a leader for a Cassville team looking to improve upon last year’s six-win season. Postlewait earned Honorable Mention All-Big 8 honors as a utility player last year. This year she will play shortstop and bat leadoff.
Seniors Hallie Walker and Natalie McNiell also return. Walker was limited last season due to a leg injury. She will play primarily in the outfield while also pitching. McNiell will see time at first base and in the outfield.
Coach Lori Videmschek returns her main battery in pitcher Isabelle Edwards and catcher MaKenzi Dilbeck. Both have shown improvement in the off-season with Dilbeck making great strides as a catcher.
“She (Dilbeck) has improved a lot. She is throwing more runners out than she has before. She is working on her blocking and being able to move behind the plate better,” Videmschek said.
Emilee Mann also returns with starting experience. She will be tasked with playing either outfield or first base.
Taylor McCullough will also be a factor for Cassville possibly seeing time at pitcher.
Sophomores Kelsey Harris and Ryleight Burnett will see expanded roles this year as well.
Videmschek has a group of five freshmen that could make an immediate varsity impact this year as well.
Cassville has been focused on the mental side of the game this summer.
“We just have to continue to play each inning,” Videmschek said. “We play and somebody gets on us three or four runs they just drop their head a little bit. That is something we worked on this summer; competing each pitch, staying in the game and learning how to let mistakes go.”
The Lady Wildcats will be looking to improve upon a one-win conference campaign in the always tough Big 8 Conference.
“They need to stay positive in what they are doing. We are going to be young and have some kids in big spots where it is going to be new for them. The Big 8 is tough all the way around,” Videmschek. “I am excited for it. If we continue to get better and keep our heads up (then) we will be ok.”
Cassville opens the season on Sept. 3 at Nevada.