Young Witt-Birn softball team gearing up for action

Bowler, Tigerton hope for stronger seasons in CWC-North
By: 

By Morgan Rode sports@newmedia-wi.com


Photo by Tina Bacon Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School’s Olivia Zoromski, left, leads off first base during a playoff game against Amherst last year. The senior will play center field for the Chargers this spring.

Coming off an 8-10 season and 6-6 run through the Central Wisconsin Conference-East, a young Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School softball team is hoping to take the next step this year.

“Our team is very young, with limited varsity experience,” Witt-Birn coach Charity Fraaza said. “I feel our seniors have strong leadership skills, so I am hoping they can help the girls pick up the intensity and gel as a whole. It would be unrealistic of me to say we will win every game, but our team expects a victory every time we step onto the field.”

Junior Megan Konkol and sophomores Emma Herb and Abi Fraaza all made an all-conference team last spring. Fraaza is the Chargers’ starting shortstop. Herb plays third, and Konkol figures to play first base.

Sophomore McKenna Metropulos played second last year but likely will do most of the catching this year.

Seniors Olivia Zoromski and Destiny Bagley will help provide leadership for the young team. Bagley is the team’s top returning pitcher, and Zoromski will patrol center field.

“I personally think that due to our team being so young, there is only room for improvement and flexibility with everyone’s skill level,” Zoromski said.

“I plan on leading my team this spring by giving my younger teammates advice on how to play at their best abilities, and to make our team overall positive and strong,” Zoromski said. “Positivity is a major factor in softball, due to it being such a mental game, and that’s one of the biggest goals I have to bring to this team.”

The Chargers are scheduled to open the season Thursday at Tri-County. Witt-Birn’s first home game is April 12 against Iola-Scandinavia.

Bowler

Bowler lost first- and second-team all-conference selections from last year but returns honorable mentions Jada Waters (pitcher) and Jodi Wolf (catcher), both seniors, as the team looks to rebound from last year’s finish near the bottom of the Central Wisconsin Conference-North standings.

Juniors Alyssa Strassburg (first base) and Brooke Thiex (third base) and sophomore Tynea Johnson (second base) return to fill out most of the infield.

Sophomores Lilly Wisnefske and Skye Breitrick will help fill out outfield spots.

Alison Van Grinsven will coach Bowler, which is coming off a 3-9 season and 2-8 conference mark. The Panthers are scheduled to host St. Thomas Aquinas Academy on Thursday.

“I expect our team to have a solid year,” Van Grinsven said. “We are looking forward to improving from last year and making a statement in the CWC-North.”

Tigerton

Tigerton, which is coached by Michelle Brady, finished 3-9 overall and 3-7 in Central Wisconsin Conference-North play last season.

Senior Raven Dewhurst (shortstop, catcher) is the lone returning all-conference selection for Tigerton. Jaidan Miller (first base, shortstop) is the other senior with starting experience.

Junior Colleen Smith and sophomore Taryn Graham, both outfielders, also return. Sophomores Adrienne Brady and Savannah Swartz will serve as pitchers, while Swartz will share catching duties with Dewhurst.

“We did have some hard times last year, but the girls have learned from it and have come back stronger,” coach Brady said. “We did lose some power hitters, but with our strong core from last season and some new players, we are looking to quickly come together to compete.”

Tigerton’s first game is slated for April 4 at Marion.