Moundridge softball coach Clark Wedel doesn’t have to worry about his players needing a learning curves as the 2015 season gets ready to start.

Moundridge softball coach Clark Wedel doesn’t have to worry about his players needing a learning curves as the 2015 season gets ready to start.
Wedel returns a good number of players with varsity experience from last year’s 13-8 team, which he is expecting to translate on the field.
“We expect this to pay off in more wins and being competitive with everyone we play,” Wedel said. “We have four seniors that should provide us some nice leadership. It’s always nice to have two returning pitchers, a returning catcher and a middle infielder that are all seniors. We will certainly need some young players to step up and fill a couple of vital roles, also.”
Those returning seniors are Michelle Schrag, Baylie Blouin, Elizabeth Ratzlaff and Emily Knight,. Schrag brings a .362 batting average back to short stop, while Blouin and Ratzlaff both batted .333 and .320, respectively.
Ratzlaff and Knight, as pitchers, went 4-1 and 5-4 on the year.
The leading returning slugger from 2014 is sophomore second baseman Chelsey Knight, who hit .443.
The Wildcats open their season Tuesday at Douglass.

Moundridge baseball faces unknowns
MOUNDRIDGE — Even with five returning starters from 2014, Moundridge coach Lynn Eichelberger is a little unsure about what to expect from this year’s Wildcats.
“Those five returning players got valuable experience last year,” Eichelberger, whose team went 7-14 in 2014, said, “but some of them will have to learn new positions due to the changes in pitching from last year.”
The Wildcats do bring back junior Trenton Olson, who picked up a second team Heart of America honor for his work at first base. Also back as starters last year are juniors Kyle Stucky and Nick Leddy, as well as sophomores Dylan Sugars and Anthony Otte.
Sugars, Leddy and Stucky are expected to comprise the heart of the pitching staff. Sugars and Stucky saw a lot of time on the mound in 2014, while Leddy had some spot varsity action.
That leaves Eichelberger with the unenviable position of filling his pitching staff with some untested arms.
“We will be looking for three or four more pitchers to step up and give us some quality innings,” he said.
Those same three, along with Olson, will also be counted on in the heart of the order to generate some runs for the Wildcats.
After that, however, Eichelberger is optimistic about what his freshman class can bring to the team, not only on offense, but on defense as well.
“In baseball, being solid up the middle is very important and we are only returning our shortstop and center fielder,” Eichelberger said. “They are young, but go valuable experience last year. Our center field position will depend on who is pitching, while the catching duties will be taken on by a younger player.”
That was intended to be junior Colton Stucky, but he was injured during the football season and forced to undergo shoulder surgery this past winter and won’t be available this season.
 Eichelberger also welcomes two new assistant coaches this season in Aaron Begnoche and Sam Stucky.
“New ideas are always welcome and they have already helped our program get better,” Eichelberger said.

Pfeiff, Stucky, Dick highlight Wildcat thinclads
MOUNDRIDGE — Moundridge track and field is poised for an outstanding 2015, as the Wildcats bring back every one of their 2014 state qualifiers and placers last year.
That includes senior DeShawn Pfeiff, who is the reigning Class 2A state champion the pole vault, and senior Anna Stucky, who placed in four events at the state meet.
Individually, Stucky took second in the 100-meter dash and sixth in the long jump. She was also part of the 4x400 with Cassidy Siemens, Ashley Holler and Peri Lange, all of whom are back against this year and took third at state in 2014.
The girls 4x100 of Siemens, Lange, Bailey Strausz and Stucky finished seventh last year and is also back in its entirety.
Also back for the girls is junior Rylie Dick, who took third place in the high jump with a mark of five feet.
“Our girls 4x400 team is close to breaking the school record,” Moundridge coach Brian Holloway said. “They dropped 10 seconds in the last three meets of the year. I’m also hopeful that group will compete for a state championship. Plus, with the number of state qualifiers returning, I feel like we have a real chance at some team hardware at the state level, as well.”
Returning boys competitors include Colton Frazier, a javelin thrower, and Joel Holloway and Parker Lange, both of whom competed at the 2014 state meet in the 4x400.

Schedules
Baseball
March 31 — at Douglass; April 10 — at Canton-Galva; April 14 — Little River; April 17 — Inman; April 21 — at Ell-Saline; April 28 — Sedgwick; May 1 — Bennington; May 5 — at Marion; May 8 — at Remington; May 12 — at Chase County
Softball
March 31 — at Douglass; April 7 — Hutchinson Trinity; April 10 — at Canton-Galva; April 14 — Little River, Remington (Triangular); April 17 — Inman; April 21 — at Ell-Saline; April 28 — Sedgwick; May 1 — Bennington; May 5 — at Marion; May 12 — at Chase County
Track and Field
April 7 — at Halstead; April 14 — at Berean Academy; April 21 — at Hillsboro; April 23 — at Council Grove; April 28 — at Sedgwick; May 1 — at Hillsboro; May 5 — Moundridge; May 8 — at Pretty Prairie; May 15 — HOA meet (at Marion).

Contact Chris Swick by email at cswick@mcphersonsentinel.com and follow him on Twitter @SwickSentinel.com.