Springfield, Mo. (Ozarks Sports Zone) -- The Monett Lady Cubs softball team has its eye on the prize this upcoming season after claiming the district title and setting the school record for wins (18-10) in the 2011 season while not losing a single starter. Coach Ty Goetz in his sixth season has many expectations for his squad.
“We had a great year last year, winning districts and setting the school record for wins,” Goetz said. “Returning every starter with at least one year of varsity experience is going to be in our favor as our season kicks off.”
Their seniors bring much experience and skill to a powerful roster. Senior Raigan Ratliff takes up the leadoff spot with great speed and a good mind on the bases. She previously had been Monett’s pitcher, but now serves as their starting center fielder.
Senior catcher Andrea Soriano has been behind the plate since her sophomore year, ranking third on the team in RBIs and serving as one of the team’s leaders. Senior Josee Krueger shredded the ball batting .413 and resided at third base. Ratliff had won both first team All-Big 8 and region honors, Andrea Soriano was second team All-Big 8 and region, and Josee Krueger was first team all-district.
“Our seniors, with the skill and leadership, will be key to leading the team to another district title,” Goetz said. “But we have some great sophomores and juniors as well that will play a huge role in the teams’ success.”
Sophomore Allie Krueger will be the main arm for the pitching staff, as she shined in the district playoffs the previous season as only a freshman. She snagged first team All-Big 8 and region, as well as second team all-district.
Junior first baseman Kelsey Wiseman will be vital to the offensive game, batting in either the three or four hole. Sister of Josee and Allie, sophomore Abby Krueger will have her domain at second base.
"I feel pretty good about this year, our girls know what the varsity level demands and by beasting up our schedules we’ll be playing tougher teams giving us better competition," Goetz said. Offensively we must not sputter out; we have to take advantage of runners in scoring position. Timely hits lead to timely runs."
Two out of the last three seasons Monett has broken its single-season winning record, leaving high hopes as the season inches closer.
“We hope to claim another district title and break the school record again for season wins with 19, and possibly even grab the conference championship while we are at it,” Goetz said.
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