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Veteran Pitching Leads Owatonna Softball into the Season

Owatonna fast-pitch softball returns both of its pitchers to the field this spring. The Huskies open Tuesday, April 4, hosting Farmington at 5PM on KRFO AM 1390.

Tiana Blazek and Alexa Sommers will take their turns in the circle for Owatonna. Fourth-year head coach Brian Pilcher says, “They both give us a good variety of looks, different pitching styles, and they’re only juniors. So we’ve got some good things going on there.”

Owatonna returns five position players in 2017, although a couple will change spots after graduating four seniors and losing another starter after her family moved. Senior Braelyn Johnson is back at first base. Junior Jamie Davison returns at third base. Senior Ellie Rohman takes short stop. Junior Kenzie Karsten moves from outfield to catcher. Pilcher looks for junior Jenna VonRuden to return from a knee injury in fall hockey to play this spring, “We’ve got some key players coming back. Plus we’ve got some talented players moving up from JV. Some of them were already on varsity last year.”

The Huskies went 11-11 in 2016 with eight of those losses by two runs or less, including a 1-0 loss to Farmington, who finished as the Section 1AAAA runner-up behind New Prague. Owatonna’s seniors in 2016 were Millie Wanous, Kirsten Pumper, Kianna Butler and Kayla Johnson. Lead-off hitter Riley Sheehy was a sophomore last year, but her family moved out of state last summer.

Big Nine champ Mankato West won the state title last year in Class AAA, beating Winona in the championship game. The Scarlets’ only loss came to Owatonna 7-4 in a nonconference game.

The Huskies’ roster on the Minnesota State High School League website shows the seniors as Braelyn Johnson, Ellie Rohman and Erin Steffenson. Juniors are Alexa Sommers, Erin Peterson, Hannah Fisher, Jamie Davison, Jenna VonRuden, Kenzie Karsten, Megan Medvec, Rilee Schmidt, Samantha Hager, Tiana Blazek and Torey Buck.

Owatonna’s schedule from the Big Nine website:

  • April 4 vs. Farmington, 5PM on KRFO AM 1390
  • April 6 at Red Wing, 5PM
  • April 8 vs. Rochester JM, 1PM
  • April 11 vs. Winona, 5PM
  • April 13 vs. Albert Lea, 5PM
  • April 18 at Mankato West, 5PM
  • April 20 at Faribault, 5PM on KRFO AM 1390
  • April 25 vs. Mankato East, 4PM doubleheader
  • April 27 at Rochester Mayo, 5PM on KRFO AM 1390
  • April 29 at Shakopee tournament
  • May 2 vs. Rochester Century, 5PM
  • May 4 at Austin, 5PM
  • May 9 at Albert Lea, 5PM
  • May 16 vs. Faribault, 5PM
  • May 18 at Northfield, 4PM doubleheader on KRFO AM 1390

This is the second year of four classes for softball. Owatonna is in Section 1AAAA with Rochester Mayo, John Marshall, Century, Farmington, Lakeville North, Lakeville South and New Prague. The Trojans beat the Tigers for the title in 2016. OHS went 0-2 with losses to Lakeville North and Rochester Century.

 

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