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Patriots hope to continue softball success

The Pequot Lakes Patriots are coming off possibly the best season in program history last spring after finishing 9-1 in the Mid-State Conference, 19-4 overall and claiming their first Section 6AA championship.

The Patriots should again be contenders with a chance to return to the Class AA state tournament as they return eight starters, including senior pitcher Katie White and senior catcher Emily Wgeishofski. Other starters are seniors infielder Kayla Miller and first baseman Erin Rudbeck, juniors infielder Hannah Zimmerman and outfielder Taylor Crocker; and sophomores infielder Haley Wiebolt and outfielder Barb Miller.

“We should follow up last season with another successful year,” said Bret Sergent, who is starting his 22nd year of coaching softball at Pequot Lakes. “Katie (White) and Emily (Wgeishofski) start their third years as battery mates and Kayla Miller and Erin Rudbeck will anchor the infield along with Haley (Wiebolt) and Hannah (Zimmerman).”

Last year, White was a second-team all-state selection while White, Zimmerman and Wiebolt were all-section players. White and Miller were all-conference while Wgeishofski, Rudbeck, Zimmerman, Wiebolt and Miller received all-conference honorable mention.

Sergent added that senior outfielder Angela Cole, juniors catcher Madison Galligan, outfielder Whitney Marchwick and first base/outfielder Emilee Buell, and sophomore outfielder Laura Squires round out the roster.

Two of the Patriots’ four losses last season were against talented teams at the state tournament, falling to Hermantown 4-1 in the quarterfinals and St. Anthony Village 11-0 in the consolation semifinals.

In 23 games, Pequot Lakes compiled an impressive 1.52 earned-run average while posting an admirable .362 batting average. Top hitters among regulars were Zimmerman .431, Wiebolt .427 and White .423 with a team-high 29 RBI. On the mound, White had 15 wins while striking out 149 hitters.

Monica Sergent and Chad Rudbeck are assistant coaches for the Patriots.