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Wolverines have promising nucleus of softball talent

Photo by Brian Hansel Becky Plautz is one of the Wadena-Deer Creek players trying out as a pitcher this spring.

There is potential lurking on Craig Klawitter's 2012 Wadena-Deer Creek softball team.

The Wolverines need pitching to really make their season go but the rest of the pieces are ready to drop into place.

"We have a very strong nucleus," Klawitter said. "We have the potential to be a very strong offensive and defensive team."

Amanda Perkins' graduation cost the Wolverines their top pitcher but they have their No. 2 pitcher back in Caitlin Volkmann. While Volkmann is a good pitcher the junior is also a lynch pin for WDC's infield at shortstop and Klawitter wants her to split her time between the two positions.

Senior Morgan Lugert is also getting a look for her pitching prowess. Lugert was used as a utility player last year.

Klawitter had nine of his players tossing pitches around on the first day of practice.

The Wolverines will have a steady presence in center with senior Avery Jackson. The hard-hitting Jackson was the team's top stick last year.

WDC has sophomore Mikayla Lehmkuhl and junior Katelyn Peters vying for playing time behind the plate. Peters could also see duty at second base.

"She's a ballplayer, she loves the game," Klawitter said.

Junior Brooke Umland has played some third base for the Wolverines and is a cinch to play an infield spot for the club. Melissa Moenkedick is back at first base for the Wolverines. The tall junior flashed some power last year and hit well in streaks.

Klawitter is not yet sure where he will use junior Sam Killian in the lineup. She has not played softball for a couple years and while she likes playing behind the plate, the Wolverines are already deep at that position.

The Wolverines lost two good outfielders in Kaitlin Ditsworth and Ashley Pauly and a veteran third baseman in Christina Wolden.

WDC was 12-9 last year fighting their way deep into the Section 8AA playoffs before losing to Park Rapids. The club moves to Section 6AA this year along with softball heavyweights like Staples-Motley and Otter Tail Central.