Head Coach: Jerry Chase
Where We Left Off in 2021: The Gophers went 10-4 in the TRC, 17-7 overall. Chatfield went 2-2 in the post-season, falling to Cotter 16-1 in a Section 1AA loser out game. Their other three play-off games were all decided by one run.
Seniors: Peyton Berg (C), Jaiden Zimmerman (P/SS), Sydney Allen (2B), Devann Clemens (RF), Brynn Irish (3B).
Juniors: Kara Goetzinger (Jr. OF/P), Josie Koenigs (Jr. LF), Tatum Allen (LF), Claire Springer (P), Marley Harris (3B), Shea Jech (1B), Marlee Musty (C)
Other Key Returnees: Alexis Hinckley (So. 1B)
Prognosis: The Gophers lost just one full-time player from last year’s squad, and return four All-TRC picks. Fourth-year player Peyton Berg heads the cast (.410 average, 7 HRs, 31 RBI, 15 runs). She is a two-time All-TRC pick. Jaiden Zimmerman (.346 average, seven 2Bs, HR, 17 RBIs, 20 runs, 9-1 pitching record, 77 IP, 3.18 ERA, 99 Ks, 33 BBs), Kara Goetzinger (.444 average, seven 2Bs, HR, 12 RBI, 17 runs), and Alexis Hinckley (.384 average, 15 RBIs, 13 runs) were also all-league a season ago. Claire Springer (.306 average, 74 IP, 7-6, 2.65 ERA, 75 Ks, 19 BBs), Sydney Allen (.243 average, 2 HR, 12 RBI, 12 R), Devann Clemens (.245, 9 R), Brynn Irish (10 R), and Tatum Allen (11 R) also return. Each played in at least 20 games with at least 40 plate appearances. The Gophers return their top two pitchers in Zimmerman and Springer (combined for 151 innings pitched). They’ll try to keep pace with 1AA elite teams St. Charles and Cotter.
Caledonia/Spring Grove Warriors
Head Coach: Chad Augedahl
Where We Left Off in 2021: C/SG went 4-10-1 in the TRC, 5-14-1 overall. They fell to St. Charles in a 1AA quarterfinal contest 12-2.
Seniors: Amber Stemper (OF), Lydia Jennings (3B/1B), Brianna Stemper (2B/P), Teagan Lange (P), Madisyn Tessmer (IF), Grace Denstad (OF/IF).
Juniors: Emily Ideker (3B/P), Paige Klug (SS/P), Kimber Frank (OF), Skyler Paus (IF), Jenna Mann (3B), Kylie Staggemeyer (2B), Mackenzie Morey (C), Makaela Konkel (IF).
Prognosis: Coach Augedahl had two All-TRC picks last season, Dana Augedahl (C/LF) and Grace Privet (P). Each graduated. Augedahl was the team’s top hitter (.463 average, five 2Bs, 3 HRs, 13 RBIs, 22 runs). Privet was a multi-year starting pitcher (.346 average, 4-7, 79 2/3 IP, 59 Ks). Three other senior starters also moved on. The Warriors return three full-time starters: Amber Stemper (.426 average, 10 2Bs, 9 RBI, 15 runs), Paige Klug (.382 average, six 2Bs, HR, 16 runs), and Brianna Stemper (.313 average, 10 RBI, 10 runs). Teagan Lange (.389 average in seven games) is another key hitter. Klug is the only returnee to toss more than 10 innings last season. The Warriors have good upperclassmen numbers with six seniors and eight juniors.
Fillmore Central/Lanesboro Falcons
Head Coach: Ericka Nagel (new).
Where We Left Off in 2021: The Falcons went 2-12-1 versus the TRC, 5-17-1 overall. They went 1-2 in the post-season (receiving a first-round bye) losing to Mabel-Canton 15-5 in the 1A East runner-up game.
Seniors: Lauren Mensink (OF)
Juniors: Regan Hanson (C), Kaci Ruen (P/1B), Emily Mason (2B), Nadia Highum (3B), Michelle Strimpel (OF).
Other Key Returnees: Klaudia Biel (So.), Ellie Anderson (So.)
Prognosis: FC/L had no All-TRC picks a season ago. They graduated five relied-upon seniors including their main pitcher Addie Peters (104 IP) and multi-year starting SS K.J. Corson. Lauren Mensink (.278 average, 2 HR, 18 RBIs, 19 R), Regan Hanson (.290 average, 1 HR, 14 RBIs), and Ellie Anderson (.255 average, 7 2Bs) are the top returnees. Mensink and Hanson were one-two for FC/L in RBIs last season. Mensink led the team in runs scored. FC/L returns just two total innings pitched.
Head Coach: John Fenske
Where We Left Off in 2021: GMLOK went 9-4 in the SEC, 11-6 overall. They fell to Triton 2-0 in a 1AA West quarterfinal.
Seniors: Emily Miner (RF/P), Alexys Harwood (2B), Lydia Voeltz (C), Anna Welsh (C/OF), Audrey Webster (2B), Kennedy Fenske (1B), Brooke Kolden (CF).
Juniors: MaKenzie Armagust (IF/P), Emma Hemann (OF).
Other Key Returnees: Lucie Voigt (So. IF).
Prognosis: The Bulldogs graduated their only All-SEC pick, multi-year starting pitcher Lily Hughes (10-5, 92 1/3 IP, 146 Ks, 19 BBs, 1.82 ERA), who doubled as their best power hitter (.315 average, 3 HRs, 15 RBIs, 13 runs). GMLOK returns five players who had at least 20 at bats last season in Lucie Voigt (.424 average, 10 RBI, 16 runs), Alexys Harwood (.380 average, 11 runs), Emily Miner (14 runs), Lydia Voeltz (9 RBI), and Kennedy Fenske. Miner has the most returning innings pitched but at just 6 2/3.
Head Coach: Holly Ekern (new)
Where We Left Off in 2021: The Trojans went 0-15 in the TRC, 1-20 overall. They fell to Houston 4-3 in a 1A East quarterfinal.
Seniors: Emarie Jacobson (P/OF), Aviana Anderson-Ingram (1B), Brooke Johnson (OF), Brie Papenfuss (OF).
Juniors: Ella Woxland (OF), Linsey Meyer (IF).
Other Key Returnees: Ellie Ekern (So. C/IF), Rebecca Magin (So. IF)
Prognosis: Long-time assistant coach Holly Ekern takes over as head coach. The Trojans had just one hitter bat over .300 last year (Isabelle Olson), and she graduated. Five starters return in Ellie Ekern (.222, 8 RBIs, 8 runs), Rebecca Magin (.250), Aviana Anderson-Ingram (.230, 6 RBI, 6 runs), Emarie Jacobson (.235, 8 runs), and Brooke Johnson. Ekern led the team in RBIs. Jacobson pitched 56 1/3 innings as one of two main hurlers (Olson).
Head Coach: Kati Bergey
Where We Left Off in 2021: The Cougars went 8-6 in the SEC, 15-11 overall. M-C won four play-off games, grabbing the 1A East runner-up trophy. They won a game in Austin, before falling 11-8 to Wabasha-Kellogg (the eventual 1A champion). M-C took third place in the section.
Seniors: Emma Tollefsurd (Sr. CF), Gwen Tollefsrud (Sr. 3B), Molly Lee (Sr. C), Emily Carolan (Sr. P), Thea Snyder (Sr. 1B/2B), Merilin Kirsipuu (OF)
Juniors: Anna Bjertness (OF), Kelly McClimon (OF/1B).
Other Key Returnees: Kira Snyder (Fr. C/OF), Tylar Wenthold (8th SS/P/OF).
Prognosis: M-C lost two really good players, their top average hitters in All-SEC selections Kenidi McCabe (SS) and Jordyn Newgard (CF). McCabe was thrice All-SEC and made Class A All-State last season (.465 average, 7 HRs, 49 runs, 37 RBIs). Newgard was also a standout player (.450, nine 2Bs, two HRs, 39 RBIs, 28 runs). The M-C battery returns. Emily Carolan takes the mound for her third year as starting pitcher. She went 14-9 last season in 133 1/3 IP (3.52 ERA, 77 Ks, 39 BBs) while hitting .377 (18 RBI). Molly Lee returns behind the plate (.310 average, seven 2Bs, 27 runs, 22 RBIs). Emma Tollefsrud (.324 average, 24 runs, 23 RBIs) and Gwen Tollefsrud (.288 average, 4 2Bs, 24 runs, 25 RBIs) give the Cougars four solid returning hitters. Thea Snyder (.210, 18 runs, 16 RBIs) and Kira Snyder (22 runs) also played a lot. M-C has made three runs to Austin for the 1A Final Four in recent memory.
Head Coach: Josh Swenson (new)
Where We Left Off in 2021: The Hurricanes went 6-8 in the SEC, 8-14 overall. They fell to FC/ 12-8 in the loser-out game of the 1A play-offs.
Seniors: Emma Chapel (OF).
Juniors: Lilly Carr (P/3B), Nicole Beckman (P/2B), Olivia Beckman (C).
Prognosis: The Hurricanes have a new coach in Josh Swenson. They graduated multi-year starting pitcher Richelle Botcher and All-SEC shortstop Becca Rostad (among four senior departures). Hailey Alfson isn’t out for softball after making All-SEC last season. The ‘Canes have just five girls in grades 10-12 out and one is hurt (Olivia Beckman). Houston will have a lot of youth contributing to the cause.