by Bob San
SUN PRESS NEWSPAPERS
Last season was a rough one in terms of wins and losses for the Osseo softball team. The Orioles were 6-14 overall and finished eighth in the conference at: 4-11. They lost in the first round of the section to Irondale.
The bright side is that many players on that team are back with one more year of varsity experience and Osseo coach Erik Ruska is hoping that his team will benefit from last year’s growing pain and make improvement this year.
Returning starters are junior catcher Ashley Sis, sophomore pitcher Courtney Calkins, senior outfielders Laura Siepmann and Alyssa Delmonico, sophomore third baseman Hayley Swanson and sophomore outfielder Taylor Bridgeman. Calkins pitched most of the games for Osseo last year.
Key newcomers are freshman infielders Kelli Auer and Allison Tullberg, sophomore pitcher/infielder Caroline Meyers, sophomore outfielder Maddy Johnson, sophomore pitcher Allison Duffy, senior infielder Tyanna Petersen, senior catcher Magen Nivison and junior outfielder Touria Techam.
“We are still young at positions that count but we return experience in the outfield and most importantly in the circle,” said Ruska. “We will be better defensively but our offense may struggle early until our younger players see more varsity level pitching. We will be looking to push teams and hit our stride in May. We should be in each ball game, we will get better as the year goes on.”
The conference is once again loaded with top teams in Maple Grove, Elk River and Blaine and Ruska is realistic about his expectations.
“Middle of the conference finish would be a good season and then you never know what we could do during playoffs,” he said.
Contact Bob San at [email protected]