Softball ‘Cats look to youth
Cassville to take a coach-them-up approach
It is to be expected that the Cassville softball team will experience some growing pains this season.
The Lady Wildcats return just three starters from a six-win team in junior Kyren Postlewait and seniors Hallie Walker and Natalie McNeill.
Postlewait earned Honorable Mention All-Big 8 honors as a utility player last year. She is expected to play shortstop and bat leadoff. Walker was limited last season due to a leg injury and will play primarily in the outfield while also pitching. McNeill will see time at first base and in the outfield.
Coach Lori Videmschek returns her pitcher Isabelle Edwards and catcher MaKenzi Dilbeck. Both have shown improvement in the off-season, with Dilbeck making great strides as a catcher.
“[Dilbeck] has improved a lot,” Videmschek said. “She is throwing more runners out than she has before. She is working on her blocking and being able to move behind the plate better.”
Emilee Mann also returns with starting experience. She will be tasked with playing either outfield or first base. Taylor McCullah will also be a factor for Cassville, possibly seeing time at pitcher. Sophomores Kelsey Harris and Ryleigh Burnette will see expanded roles this year as well.
Videmschek has a group of five freshmen that could make an immediate varsity impact this year, as well.
“We just have to continue to play each inning,” Videmschek said. “We play, and somebody gets on us three or four runs, they just drop their head a little bit. That is something we worked on this summer — competing each pitch, staying in the game and learning how to let mistakes go.”
The Lady Wildcats will be looking to improve upon a one-win conference campaign in the always-tough Big 8 Conference.
“They need to stay positive in what they are doing,” Videmschek said. “We are going to be young and have some kids in big spots where it is going to be new for them. The Big 8 is tough all the way around. I am excited for it. If we continue to get better and keep our heads up, we will be ok.”
Cassville opens the season on Sept. 3 at Nevada.