AccessMyLibrary provides FREE access to millions of articles from top publications available through your library.
Byline: Ken Olson
April 18--Superior Spartans
Superior High School softball coach Amy Zembo is hoping that seven returning starters is the answer to help improve a team that finished 10-12 overall last year and 2-6 in the Lake Superior Conference.
Although the Spartans lost Cassy O'Neill, a second-team all-conference pick from last year's team, they return Taylor Thompson (P/DP), Emily Hansen (SS) and Jessica Lindstrom (3B), who were honorable mention selections, along with Taylor Johnson (C), Kari Miller (CF), Alison Wainionpaa (P/OF) and Kaitlyn Mergen (1B). The only positions currently up for grabs are second base and an outfield spot.
Two other strengths for the Spartans should be a stronger pitching staff with Thompson and Wainionpaa both having another year of experience, and their team defense, which returns all but a second basemen.
One thing that concerns Zembo is getting key hits on offense.
"We're going to continue working on improving our offense," Zembo said. "Once we get the bats going, I expect us to compete with every team in the conference, as well as everybody on our schedule."
The Spartans finished in fifth place in the LSC last year and Zembo sees Hermantown, Duluth Central and Cloquet, the teams to beat.
"Hermantown once again has dominating pitching and a lot of returning players," Zembo said. "Central has a deadly pitching combination of Hendrickson and Logergren and Cloquet has five players that were all-conference last season."
Superior opened its season with a 7-5 win Friday at Esko.
Taylor Thompson and Alison Wainionpaa pitched for the Spartans, allowing three hits with 10 strikeouts and four walks.
Offensively for Superior, Jessica Lindstrom doubled and scored twice; Ashley Gronlund singled and had two RBIs; Tailor Schuster had a hit and RBI; and Savannah Oak and Kaitlyn Mergen each singled.
SHS led the JV game 20-0 when the called due to darkness in the second inning.
Remaining members of the SHS varsity roster are Ari Jago, Courtney Oak, Rachal Fregin, Shannon Johnstad, Taylor Nelson and Alex Ledin.
SPARTAN SPIN: Superior lost to Chippewa Falls in the regional finals last year. ... Zembo had an overall record of 108-85 in 11 season as head coach at SHS. ... Superior's last LSC championship came during the 2004 season and its last …