Spartans have LSC title set in sights
By: Ken Olson, Superior Telegram
Experience, strong pitching and overall defense are strengths for the Superior High School softball team as it begins the 2013 season.
Spartan head coach Amy Zembo has a roster that includes Lake Superior Conference all-conference selections Jessica Lindstrom (3B) and Emily Hansen (SS) as well as Alison Wainionpaa (P), Taylor Johnson (C), Kari Miller (OF), Rachal Fregin (OF) and Tailor Schuster (2B).
Rounding out the starting lineup are Kaitlin Heinen, who will take over for Kaitlyn Mergen at first base, and Ari Jago, who will play in left field.
The Spartans, who lost pitcher Taylor Thompson through graduation, will have Wainionpaa anchor the pitching staff, which includes Heinen and Shannon Johnstad.
Superior went 13-10 overall last season and finished second in the Lake Superior Conference at 6-1.
Zembo expects her Spartans to once again compete for a LSC title along with Hermantown and Duluth Denfeld. She also noted that Hermantown will be tough to beat with the return of pitcher Katie Thun.
“We’ve set some high expectations this season — one being winning the conference championship,” Zembo said. “I feel we will have a very strong hitting team that can produce the runs we will need.”
Zembo begins her 11th season at SHS with an overall record of 121-96.
Rounding out Superior’s varsity roster are second baseman Harmony Clarke and outfielders Haley Siers, Morgan Gramstrup and Gabby Gidley.
Miller fractured a finger on her left hand (non-throwing) but should be cleared to play before Superior’s first game, according to Zembo.
The Spartans also lost junior outfielder Taylor Nelson for the season.
“Taylor injured a knee during the basketball season but was cleared to play softball,” Zembo said. “On the third day of practice, Nelson reinjured the knee and underwent surgery on Monday.”
The Spartans were scheduled to open the season April 5 at Rice Lake. That doubleheader was postponed and will hopefully be made up later in the season.
Superior was also scheduled to host Esko on Friday and play at Grantsburg Monday. Both games were postponed and possible make-up dates will be announced later.
The Spartans were scheduled to host Northwestern on Thursday. That game has been canceled and Superior will now play Menomonie at the Stillwater Dome (St. Croix Rec Center) at 1:30 p.m.
SPARTAN SPIN: Superior’s last LSC championship came in 2004. … The Spartans’ last trip to state was 1993. … This year’s team managers are Helana Semborski and Alyssa Correll. … Superior’s assistant coaches are John Seifert, Greg Campbell, Alayna Moe, Brody Bakken, Ashley Martin and Marisa Hacker (practicum coaching UMD student). … The Spartans lost to Menomonie 4-2 in the first round of last year’s playoffs.
Superior High School Roster
3 Taylor Johnson C 12
5 Kari Miller OF 12
6 Harmony Clarke 2B 11
8 Ari Jago OF 11
9 Kaitlin Heinen 1B/P 10
10 Gabby Gidley C 10
12 Alison Wainionpaa P 12
13 Rachal Fregin OF 11
15 Haley Siers OF 11
17 Morgan Gramstrup OF 11
21 Jessica Lindstrom 3B 11
23 Emily Hansen SS 11
24 Shannon Johnstad P/OF 11
25 Tailor Schuster 3B 10
33 Taylor Nelson OF 11
2013 Spartan JV Roster
4 Abbie DeMeyer, Abbie IF/C 9
7 Olyvia Plunkett, Olyvia OF 9
10 Gabby Gidley, Gabby C 10
14 Mackenzie Kmecik OF/1B 9
16 Nicole Koenen IF 10
18 Cassie Strum 2B 9
19 Maggie Dembroski OF 9
20 Emma Geitner 1B 9
22 Jillian Radtke OF 10
27 Hailey Olson OF 9
29 Abby Hansen SS/P 9
30 Hannan Olson OF 9
31 Britta Bergstrom IF/OF 10
32 Sydney Johnson P/1B 10
34 Kaitlyn Stebner OF 9
Superior High School
2013 Softball Schedule
Fri., April 5 at Rice Lake (2) (ppd)
Fri., April 12 vs. Esko (ppd)
Mon., April 15 at Grantsburg (ppd)
Thur., April 18 vs. Northwestern (ppd)
Thur., April 18 vs. Menomonie at the Stillwater Dome, 1:30 p.m.
Fri., April 19 at Duluth East, 4:30 p.m.
Sat., April 20 at Bloomer Tourn., 9:30 a.m.
Thur., April 25 vs. Hermantown, 4:30 p.m.
Tue., April 30 at Proctor, 4:30 p.m.
Thur., May 2 vs. Duluth East, 4:30 p.m.
Fri., May 3 vs. E.C. Mem. (DH), 4 p.m.
Sat., May 4 at Becker Invite, 10 a.m.
Tue., May 7 vs. Cloquet, 4:30 p.m.
Thur., May 9 at Marshall, 4:30 p.m.
Fri., May 10 at Hibb. Tourney (2), 4 p.m.
Sat., May 11 at Ashland (2), 10 a.m.
Mon., May 13 at Grand Rapids (2), 4 p.m.
Tue., May 14 at Duluth Denfeld, 4:30 p.m.
Tue., May 21 WIAA Regional Semi
Thur., May 23 WIAA Regional Final
Tue., May 28 WIAA Sectional Semi
Thur., May 30 Sectional at Wausau East
June 6-8 WIAA State at Madison