Spring Sports Preview: Experienced Patriots should be softball contenders
The Patriots return ace pitchers Morgan Eckes and Kaitlyn Geschwill
An experienced Pequot Lakes Patriots softball team should be contenders again this year after finishing 21-6 and reaching the Section 8-2A title game last spring.
Among those returning players are senior Morgan Eckes and junior Kaitlyn Geschwill, who earned co-Most Valuable Player and All-Mid-State Conference honors last year. They are joined by returning another all-conference selection senior Maya Orvis.
“We return 10 letterwinners from a relatively young team last year, so expectations are high,” said Bret Sergent, who starts his 31st year of coaching softball. “We hope to contend for the Mid-State Conference championship as well as the section title.”
The Patriots, who switched to Section 6-2A this season, return their top two pitchers in Eckes and Geschwill.
“Those two have been pitching on varsity since seventh and eighth grade, respectively,” Sergeant said. “Morgan, Kaitlyn and Maya (Orvis) were all-section selections on a team that was one out away from qualifying for state.”
The Patriots’ offense was led last year by Orvis, who had the top batting average at .425. Others returning with starting experience are senior Taylor Sherack; juniors Maci Martini, Brea Eckes, Quinn Trottier, Macy Jackson and Abi Martin; and sophomore Kelsi Martini.
“Taylor (Sherack) and Maci (Martini) provided a boost in our offensive production last year and should help us be successful again this coming season,” Sergeant said. “With a year of experience under their belts, I expect Kelsi (Martini), Macy (Jackson), Brea (Eckes), Quinn (Trottier) and Abi (Martin) to be strong contributors.”
Top-seeded Pequot Lakes was edged by No. 2 Hawley 8-7 in the section final last June. The Patriots had advanced with wins over Hawley 6-3, Frazee 10-8 and 8-3, and Barnesville 3-1. Pequot Lakes also finished 10-0 in the conference.
Sergeant predicts that Pequot Lakes and possibly Pillager and Osakis will be section contenders while Pequot Lakes should be the conference favorite following last year’s success.
The Patriots are scheduled to open at Royalton at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 7.
Pequot Lakes softball
7 - Pequot Lakes at Royalton 4:30 p.m.
8 - Pequot Lakes at Pine River-Backus 4:30 p.m.
11 - Osakis at Pequot Lakes 4:30 p.m.
19 - Pequot Lakes at Staples-Motley (2) 4:30 p.m.
22 - Pillager at Pequot Lakes 4:30 p.m.
23 - Pequot Lakes at Frazee 9 a.m.
26 - Aitkin at Pequot Lakes (2) 4 p.m.
29 - Perham at Pequot Lakes 4:30 p.m.
3 - Pequot Lakes at Park Rapids (2) 4 p.m.
6 - Pequot Lakes at Pierz 4:30 p.m.
9 - Milaca at Pequot Lakes 4:30 p.m.
10 - Crosby-Ironton at Pequot Lakes (2) 4 p.m.
17 - Detroit Lakes at Pequot Lakes (2) 4 p.m.
23 - Section 6-2A playoffs begin