Tiger girls find practice time on football fieldStrong pitching, team speed and plenty of depth will help the Northwestern High School softball team in its quest for winning a conference championship and advancing to the WIAA state tournament.
By: Ken Olson, Superior Telegram
Strong pitching, team speed and plenty of depth will help the Northwestern High School softball team in its quest for winning a conference championship and advancing to the WIAA state tournament.
It’s been six years since the Tigers last won the Heart O’ North Conference championship in 2007 and their only state tournament berth was when they won the Division 2 championship in 1981.
“The Heart O’ North Conference will be strong once again, but with the players we have returning I really expect us to be competitive and a team to beat in the conference,” NHS coach Scott Janigo said.
Teams expected to battle the Tigers for the HON title include Cumberland, Ladysmith and Barron.
Janigo, who begins his fifth season with the Tigers with an overall record of 57-36, is looking to find replacements for Shelby Schultz and Sarah Miller. Schultz was a first-team all-conference pitcher last season, and Miller was all-conference at second base the past three seasons.
Key players returning include senior Tiana Arseneau (P), sophomore Madeline Spangenberg (SS), senior Aliex Friend (P/IF), junior Hailey Eller (1B) and senior Alex Bodendorfer (OF).
Arseneau has been all-conference the past three seasons and Spangenberg was all-confererence last year.
Other prospective starters include: Karaline Green, Lexi Janigo, Samantha Clark, CJ Kahl and Abby Schultz.
The Tigers were 7-7 last season and finished fifth in the HON Conference.
After defeating Unity 10-0 in five innings and Barron 6-2 in the WIAA playoffs for a berth in its third regional championship game in four years, Northwestern lost to Rice Lake 10-4.
The Tigers once again will play their home games at the Brule softball field. Although the field is currently unplayable, Northwestern has been able to practice outside on the NHS football field, which has an artificial turf surface.
Snowy fields have already forced Northwestern to postpone eight games so far, including Thursday’s game at Superior.
Up next on the scheduled for the Tigers is a game at 5 p.m. today at Chetek. They are scheduled to host Bloomer at 5 p.m. Thursday.
TIGER TALES: Janigo’s assistant coach is Rich Windt. Volunteer coaches include Jeff Spangenberg, Bob Clark and Jay Johnson. … The team manager is Wesley Clark.
Northwestern High School
2013 Softball Schedule
Thur., April 4 at Proctor (ppd)
Sat., April 6 vs. Ashland/Hurley (ppd)
Tue., April 9 vs. Rice Lake (ppd)
Thur., April 11 vs. Hayward (ppd)
Sat., April 13 at Duluth East (ppd)
Tue., April 16 at Barron (ppd)
Thur., April 18 at Superior (ppd)
Tue., April 23 at Chetek (ppd)
Thur., April 25 vs. Bloomer, 5 p.m.
Sat., April 27 at Lady. (2), 11 a.m.
Tue., April 30 vs. Cumberland, 5 p.m.
Thur., May 2 at Hayward, 5 p.m.
Sat., May 4 at Spooner (2), 11 a.m.
Tue., May 7 vs. Barron, 5 p.m.
Thur., May 9 vs. Chetek, 5 p.m.
Mon., May 13 at Bloomer, 5 p.m.
Tue., May 14 at Cumberland, 5 p.m.
May 16, 21, 23 WIAA Regionals
Tue., May 28 Sectional Semifinal
Thur., May 30 Sectional Final
June 6-8 WIAA State Tournament