Softball: Young players will be key for PR-B softball team

Pine River-Backus Softball

PRB Softball.JPG
The 2023 Tiger softball team. Front row, from left: Kaitlyn Rilea, Julia Shogren, Debren Popkes, Brooklyn Mills, Sawyer Tulenchik, Ariana Burns and Abby Gilbert. Middle row: Manager Emily Hulke, Neveah Middendorf, Bailey Crimmins, Caylei Johnson, Tori Koering, Morgan King and Shannon Newbold. Back row: Helen Kerbel, Aaliyah Lewis, Molly Bengtson, Maddy Knapp, Ashley Shamp and Avery Trout.
Ashley Smith / Echo Journal Correspondent

PINE RIVER — With only one senior on the roster, the younger athletes will be playing bigger roles this spring for the Pine River-Backus softball team.

“This year’s team is a mix of young talent and older kids with less experience,” said PR-B coach Ben Kinser. “We only have one senior on the team, but we have great potential for the future and expect to learn and grow as much as we can through the season.”

Returning letterwinners are Tori Koering, Debren Popkes, Caylei Johnson, Sawyer Tulenchik and Katlyn Rilea. Others who could contribute: Ariana Burns, Ashley Shamp, Mady Knapp, Julia Shogren and Neveah Middendorf.

Kinser, a new head coach for the Tigers, has experience coaching baseball for 13 years.

“I know I will be learning as well as we transition,” he said. “I look forward to working with this group of young athletes, and seeing them progress and improve.”


Last spring, the Tigers finished 9-10 overall after losing to Sebeka 17-7 in the Section 5A playoffs. PR-B was 6-3 in the Northland Conference.

Cassie Meis and Leah Freeman are assistant coaches for the Tigers, who were scheduled to open the season hosting Cass Lake-Bena Tuesday, April 11.

More Pine River-Backus Tigers softball news

What To Read Next
Get Local


Must Reads