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Klawitter hoping for another winning team

Ashley Pauly is one of the returning seniors for the 2011 Wadena-Deer Creek softball team this season.

Craig Klawitter is out to lead his Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines to their sixth straight winning season on the softball diamond this spring.

The veteran skipper saw his Wolverines win 13 of their 20 games last year and place third in the Mid-State Conference after two straight championships.

Inexperience will be WDC's biggest problem as they wade into the 2010-2011 season. The club had only four players back that played varsity ball last year. The Wolverines lost seven of their nine starters to graduation.

"I think it will be a team that will be easy to coach," Klawitter said.

Klawitter has three seniors in Ashley Pauly, Amanda Perkins and Christina Wolden. Juniors on the team include Ashton Arneson, Kaitlin Ditsworth, Avery Jackson, Morgan Lugert and Allison Monson. Sophomore ballplayers will be Melissa Moenkedick, Lacena Brown, Katelyn Peters, Julianne Henning, Jana Bachmann, Brooke Umland, Ashley Tuttle and Caitlin Volkmann. Klawitter has a huge crop of freshmen that includes Bethany Bailey, Jennifer Cullifer, Kendra Curtis, Emery Dumpprope, Kierstin Knudson, Michaela Lehmkuhl, Caitlyn McLeod, Emily Orsello, Shania Lannes, Paige Trana, Kylie Uselman and Victoria Witthuhn.

Klawitter sees Jackson and Pauly in the outfield and Perkins playing short when she is not pitching.

Wolden is on top of a list of third base prospects after playing the position last year. Arneson, Umland and Ditsworth have also been tried at third but could also fill the second base job or an outfield spot. Moenkedick is a likely candidate at first.

Graduation cost the Wolverines lost two of their best fastpitch hurlers - Steph Hahn and Kelly DeFoe. Catching duties are also up for grabs after the graduation of Sam Holweger and Megan Popp.

Volkmann and Moenkedick both pitched JV ball last spring and played summer softball as well. Ditworth is also regarded as a pitching prospect but she has not played softball for a couple of seasons.

Peters and Lehmkuhl can both handle duty behind the plate.

Klawitter tabs Pequot Lakes and Detroit Lakes as Mid-State favorites and regards Otter Tail Central as the section favorite. The Wolverines are spending their last season in Section 8AA. WDC will be moving to Section 6AA next season.