The Delta softball team will be without some key players this year as they lost many to graduation. However, they do return three all-league performers which should help ease the transition.
“We want to make our opponents beat us, not beat ourselves. Improve every game,” said coach Sam Keesey of his expectations for the season.
The key losses for the Panthers were Haley Wanless (honorable mention All-NWOAL), Allison Pawlicki, and Alexa Lauch. What they are losing is a .418 batting average from Pawlicki, .341 batting average from Lauch, and .308 average from Wanless.
However, they do return letter winners Hayley Callahan (second team All-NWOAL), Madi Zimmerman (honorable mention All-NWOAL), and Sara Sintobin (honorable mention All-NWOAL).
Sintobin led the way with a .342 average, Zimmerman added a .337 and Callahan .297. Also returning is Dani Leininger (.409), Emily Clifton (.341), Madi Nadolny, Sadie Burres and Erin Mazurowski.
Keesey lists team leadership, coachability, and a willingness to learn as strengths for his team. He adds that they will have some big shoes to fill with the loss of key players in key spots.
They are adding newcomers Alexa Tenney and Darian Elendt.
“Bryan and Wauseon might have a slight edge with Archbold and Evergreen right there,” said Keesey on the league race. “Montpelier, Swanton, Patrick Henry, Liberty Center and Delta (should make) a few of the games really interesting.”
When it’s all said and done, the Panthers hope they can improve on last year’s mark of 6-21.