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Tigers hope to continue 2009 momentum into next season

The Morris Area softball team finished 2009 13-11 overall and tied for fourth place in the West Central Conference South.

"One of my goals as coach was to get above a .500 record," said coach Mary Holmberg. "I am very proud of how the girls played throughout the season and the playoffs."

Holmberg said the team was fortunate to have had leadership from five seniors, Kelsey Amundson, Sara Beyer, Heather Gagner, Alissa Melberg, and Brianna Neuman.

Two Tigers, junior Mary Rentz and sophomore Dani Schultz, hit over .400 this season.

"Dani and Mary had exceptional hitting seasons," said Holmberg.

Schultz had a .474 batting average with a team-high 37 hits, including eight doubles and two triples. She also led the team with 29 runs scored. Rentz batted .440, recording 33 hits with 10 doubles and three triples.

Beyer and Gagner joined the .300 Club. Beyer had a .373 average with 31 hits, including 10 doubles and a team-high four home runs. She led the team with 26 RBIs. Gagner batted .338, recording 27 hits with one double.

"Sara and Heather had solid and consistent hitting for us," Holmberg said.

"We haven't had anybody hit four home runs in quite a while," added Holmberg.

Haley Henrichs, Courtney Vogel, Shadow Olson, Kelsey Amundson, and Kelsey Greenwaldt all batted over .200. Henrichs had a .271 average, while Vogel finished at .250.

"Haley was consistent," Holmberg said. "As a designated hitter, Courtney was also consistent throughout the season.

"Shadow showed a lot of growth this season."

Greenwaldt recorded the team's only other home run with a crucial hit in the Section 3A tournament.

Pitchers Kelsey Amundson and MacKenzie Weatherly each averaged five strike outs per game. Amundson was 5-4 on the season and Weatherly finished 6-6.

"We had strong pitching this year," explained Holmberg. "We had depth, with Sara Beyer helping out as well. That was the added key to the success of our season."

Sophomores Kayla Evink and Hannah Sayles helped the Tiger cause as courtesy runners.

"Kayla and Hannah really contributed with their positive attitudes in the dug out," said Holmberg.

Freshman Holly Amundson was on the tournament team.

Holmberg will see the majority of the infield back next season.

"Mary Rentz is the quarterback of the team at short stop," said Holmberg. "Defensively, she and Dani Schultz (catcher) played solid softball."

Rentz had 50 put outs and 67 assists at short with only eight errors. Schultz had 88 put outs behind home plate, while only committing two errors at that position. Beyer, at first, led the team with 98 puts outs, committing three errs.

"We'll miss the seniors' leadership, but the experience we gained will help us next season," Holmberg said. "I hope to continue the momentum from this year into next season."