Irish Softball Preview: Strong returning crew for IrishWhen assessing his team’s chances for success this season, Rosemount softball coach Jim Matheson keeps coming back to one variable: pitching.
By: Brian Hall, Rosemount Town Pages
When assessing his team’s chances for success this season, Rosemount softball coach Jim Matheson keeps coming back to one variable: pitching.
Matheson sees some potential in his pitchers, but even the longtime coach isn’t sure how things will shake out before the season starts April 7 against Burnsville.
“We’ve been making them throw quite a bit in practice,” Matheson said. “We’ll have four weeks of practice to get ready, but until you are in a game situation, it’s difficult to figure out where they’re at. You can see the radar gun and all those things, but until you see them throw to live hitters in a game it’s difficult to make a judgement.”
Matheson expects Rachel Hoeppner to fill one of the pitching spots.
Meanwhile, Melissa Seldon, might be putting herself into the conversation. Seldon would be the first eight-grader to make the Irish varsity.
“She’s got some potential,” Matheson said. “She’s been a little intimidated, but she gets better every day. It kind of comes down to where she is at the end of the season as opposed to right now.
“If she can do it, it would be nice. It would be the first time we’ve had two pitchers both throw for us. The past seven years, we’ve been riding one kid the whole season and you hope you don’t get an injury.”
Pitching is an aspect of the team that Matheson can focus on right now because there aren’t many questions elsewhere.
The Irish return seven starters from last season.
Paige Carter and Maria Leidner are the co-captains. Carter will man center field, while Leidner will play shortstop.
Second baseman Kayla Goehring will combine with Leidner in the middle infield.
Kelcy Pollack will play third base, and Amanda Wilson is slated to play first base.
Lindsay Weisensel, Paige Cero, and Meghan Tompkins will join Carter in the outfield.
Chelsea Wenzel and Ali Fromme will handle the catching duties.
“We feel defensively we will be as good as we have ever been,” Matheson said. “We have pretty good team speed, and I think our batting lineup is pretty strong also. The biggest question is the pitching.”
But, Matheson likes the potential.
“I think we can be as good as anybody in the conference,” Matheson said. “It’s a matter of the pitching holding up.
“We have a lot of things to feel good about right now.”