7/5/2014 1:03:00 PM Bomber softball has 12-9 record
by Michael Gunderson, CFHS head softball coach
The competitive season started way back on Saturday, March 22 while scrimmaging three opponents in the Rochester Dome. It was at that time I realized that we may have a much better season than last season.
We started the regular season hot and tallied several wins in a row. Late in our schedule we played the top teams in the state and didn't pull off many wins but played solid games against Zumbrota, Kenyon-Wanamingo, Kasson-Mantorville, Hayfield, and Stewartville.
Our offense was improved greatly by hard work by the girls and the use of video recording that allowed us quicker improvement. Our season ended in the second round of tournaments by losing to Stewartville 1-0. Our final record was 12-9. This doubled our wins from last year, but left a sour taste in some of our mouths. Just like many solid teams, we could have won several more games with one more hit, or one less error.
I wouldn't trade this team for any team in the conference (I would toy with the idea of adding the Kasson-Mantorville pitcher to my staff). Sorry to see seniors Becca Vandenheuvel and Lydia Franken go. They will be missed by me as softball players and also as fun girls to coach.
As the season progressed, Franken took charge of not only being the obvious stud pitcher, but my best hitter. Lydia was voted captain by her teammates and she was a perfect example on the softball field. The highlight of the season was a 13-inning complete game against Zumbrota. We lost by the score of 1-0, but every softball fan won by witnessing one of the best pitched games in Minnesota.
Becca Vandenheuvel was on the receiving end of every pitch in the Zumbrota game. It was also a real gem for Becca. She possesses a great glove and a quick release. Becca's leadership will be missed as she was a captain multiple years. She was always a threat at the plate, and had many clutch hits for our program this season. It was fun watching Becca as she was such a fierce competitor. I can find arms that are stronger in the program, but many of her talents will be hard to fill in the future.
Madeline Carlson is one of the hardest working girls in our program. If I told her to run down Main Street with a bowl of fruit on her head, she would do it (Becca however would throw the fruit at me). Madeline's season was tainted by an injury that really slowed her progress. Madeline is very athletic and plays the outfield and first base very well. If she continues to work hard, I can see her playing a lot of first base for me next season.
Sami Cromer is a talented softball player. She can play any position except pitcher, and play them well. Sami wanted to get better and made each practice session we had worthwhile. Sami is one of those kids who has a smile on her face almost everyday. She is coachable and enjoyable to be around.
Amber Davis played a very good third base for us this season. She has a solid glove and a big arm. Amber played almost the entire season with a sore arm. She rarely complained about it and went about her business. Amber made several sensational plays during the season. I look forward to her being a part of our softball program next year.
Gabby Heckmann is an athletic girl who played a great first base for us this season as well as pitched in all or part of nine ball games for us. Being a lefty is always a plus on the mound. Gabby pitched well, and could have had more wins if she wasn't playing behind one of the best pitchers in school history, Lydia Franken. Gabby plays summer ball and it will be a big challenge for her to fill Lydia's shoes. I bet she will do anything it takes to do so. Gabby's sweet swing really helped our offense this season.
Jordan Kasa is a stud. She is one of the most gifted athletes in the school. She can run and throw with anyone in the state. I always enjoyed seeing her play in center field. She gained much experience this last season that should make her the best centerfielder in the conference next season. Jordan has the prettiest swing of anyone I have coached in 12 years. All that is needed is many hours of off season practice and confidence and she can really have a big year for us next season.
Ashly Elizabeth Serres is a well rounded ball player. She really came into her own this season both offensively and defensively. Ashly is a worker and has a knack for getting others to follow suit. Ashly was a captain who led by example. She was a great infielder and talented outfielder. It was fun watching her mature in the field as she began taking charge of the infield. Her offensive improvements were amazing.
Taylor Eddy had an interesting season for us. She started the year on JV, but due to injury she was brought up to give us some more depth. Taylor pounced on every opportunity and became one of our hottest hitters through most of the season. Our team took off when she was added to our offense. Taylor is fun to coach because she will look you in the eye and reply with a "I can do" attitude. The off season will be important to Taylor as well as our improvement next season.
Brooke Peters is another sophomore who played solid defense for us this season. Brooke's glove and throwing really improved as she gained confidence playing in the off season and polishing her play during the regular high school season. Brooke was a streaky hitter who showed some pop in her bat. Brooke managed to hit both her homeruns this year in the same game. One of them was the farthest I've seen a high schooler hit one! Brooke has the ability to be one of our best players next season.
Tatum Pickar is the baby of the bunch. She started her year on the junior high team, but was called up to replace an injured player. Tatum didn't miss a beat as she rapped out several line drive singles and played a solid outfield for us. Tatum wants to get better and is willing to put in the work during the season as well as in the off season. It will be fun watching this talented athlete compete in the next for years.
Bobbi Cromer didn't see much action but has the potential to be a very good player. She has a big arm and the eye hand ability to become a good hitter. Bobbi really gave our JV program a nice pitching option. All Bobbi needs to improve on is her confidence. I KNOW she can do it!
Abby Maki played some ball on our varsity team. She was new to the district but really impressed me with her work ethic. Abby didn't play softball last year at her old school, and that slowed her development. If Abby takes this off season seriously, she may earn much more playing time next season.
Sandra Regenscheid is a player with much potential. I watched her improve her all around game thoughout our season. I see Sandra as coachable. She will try and work hard while doing so. Sandra has a shot at being a varsity starter IF she works in the off season.