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Wolverines have four starters back

Samantha Manselle is one of the four returning starters on this year's Wadena-Deer Creek fastpitch softball team.

Craig Klawitter has four starters back as he prepares for the April 8 start of Wadena-Deer Creek’s fastpitch season.

The veteran head coach will be counting on Michaela Lehmkuhl, Victoria Witthuhn, Sam Manselle and Morgan Zeise to be the nucleus of his club.

Lehmkuhl hit .516 last year and is expected to be the club’s field leader. Lehmkuhl will split her time between third base and catcher.

Witthuhn is the team’s only proven pitcher at this point but Klawitter will be seeking another to spell her. Graduation cost the Wolverines veteran hurler Caitlin Volkmann.

Klawitter will also have seniors Jennifer Cullifer, Emery Dumpprope and Emily Orsello and juniors Maddy Hinojos, Brooke Lorentz, Elise Kallevig and Ashley Peters going after positions along with 11 sophomores and nine freshman.

The Wolverines posted winning records for six straight seasons before finishing 8-13 in 2012. The Wolverines ran into some early bumps last season and got off to an 0-6 start. They finished the season strong winning nine of their last 14 games.

Klawitter rates Detroit Lakes, Park Rapids and Staples-Motley as Mid-State Conference contenders. Klawitter’s section favorites include Staples-Motley and Minnewaska.

The Wolverines will travel to Staples for a doubleheader in their season opener. They are slated to host Melrose April 10 in their first game on the Wadena diamond.