By William

MCPHERSON – For a team that is still working to find its stride, losing the 2020 season due to the pandemic was not something needed by the McPherson softball team.

Head Coach Danica Fitzmorris returns for her 8th season as head of the Lady Bullpup program and her 10th season overall after spending her first two season at Canton/Galva.

In 2019 the Lady Bullpups finished 4-15 overall and in fifth place in the AVCTL Division III with a 2-6 record.

Overall Fitzmorris has a 49-79 record as the head coach.

Heading into the 2021 season Fitzmorris notes, “Not having played for a season it seems like a lifetime has passed. I had the opportunity to keep up with our kids on their summer league teams and was impressed with their successes. Those summer opportunities will only make us stronger during school ball.”

LADY BULLPUP NOT RETURNING DUE TO GRADUATION:

The Lady Bullpups lost three key players:

  • Addie Fitzmorris = she earned 1st team All-League honors in 2019.
  • Taylor Bruce = she also earned 1st team All-League honors in 2019.
  • Arianna Potter = also earned 1st team All-League honors in 2019 at catcher.

KEY RETURNING LADY BULLPUPS:

According to Coach Fitzmorris, “In the 2020 season we would have only had to replace a couple of defensive positions on the field. Not competing for a season makes it difficult to know who would have performed and to what capacity. It makes this season exciting to see the talent that will reveal itself.”

Among the returning Lady Bullpups with Coach comments are:

  • Taylor Casebeer – a senior SS/3rd Baseman/OF who earned 2nd team utility All-League honors in 2019. “Casebeer hit .275 as a sophomore and will bring some quality experience on the field.”
  • Brette Doile = a junior P/SS/C/OF who earned honorable mention all-league at shortstop as a freshman. “Brette will bring a great ability to locate pitches on our pitching staff and played a great shortstop in 2019. She will bring a small ball game to our offense and I home she continues to be an offensive threat in 2021.”
  • Jacie Myers = a senior C/OF “Myers has grown quite a bit over the last year and will have some time behind the plate as well as in the outfield. Her bat came on in 2019 and I see her having a great season behind the plate as well as in the field.”
  • Hailey Henson = a senior P/2nd Baseman/OF. “Henson will have her fair share of work on the mound and in the field. She, like Taylor (Casebeer), is a very versatile athlete.”
  • Hope Wehrrman = a senior 2nd basebman. “Hope shared time at second base with Hailey (Henson) in 2019. She has a strong bat coming into this season and I look for her to improve our hitting at the plate.”
  • Sophia Herrera = a junior P/1st Baseman. “Herrera will round out our pitching crew and we look forward to her gaining some experience on the mound at the varsity level, she has worked hard in the year off.”
  • Cameron Pelzel = a junior 1st Baseman.

LADY BULLPUP NEWCOMERS WORTH WATCHING:

Coach Fitzmorris is excited about the large group of sophomores who lost their freshman season due to the pandemic.

According to Fitzmorris, “There are several athletes that have played softball since they were young and play with heart and passion for the game. They will push our upper classmen and give our team some great options in the field, not to mention that they should allow our junior varsity to prosper as well.”

Among the top newcomers Coach Fitzmorris is counting on are:

  • Kelcy Bergstrom = a sophomore OF/C
  • Sayge Salman = a sophomore C/3rd Baseman
  • Karter Alvord = a freshman 3rd Baseman
  • Alex Romero = a freshman outfielder
  • Kaya Lowery = a freshman outfielder
  • Reanna Eilrich = a freshman C/1st Baseman
  • Olivia Cheatham = a freshman outfielder
  • Macy Rinker = a freshman outfielder

SEASON OUTLOOK FOR THE LADY BULLPUPS:

Coach Fitzmorris ways the team will face another tough league schedule in 2021 with Augusta coming off back-to-back seasons as league champions while going unbeaten at 10-0 in 2019 while Circle and Winfield finished second and third in the league in 2019.

“I look to our future with hope and promise,” noted Fitzmorris. “Our prospects at the pitching mound are diverse and will keep our competitors on their toes.”

First 5 Scheduled Games:

Thursday, March 25 = Host Andale

Tuesday, March 30 = At Manhattan (games with Manhattan and Great Bend)

Thursday, April 1 = At Augusta

Thursday, April 8 = At Buhler

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