The Pequot Lakes Patriots softball team returns two pitchers, junior Morgan Eckes, and sophomore Kaitlyn Geschwill, who combined for 12 wins and 93 strikeouts in the 2019 season. That pitching experience is a valuable asset since last season was canceled because of COVID-19.

“We return our top two pitchers in Morgan and Kaitlyn,” Patriots coach Bret Sergent said of Eckes and Geschwill, who also had the top two batting averages for Pequot Lakes in 2019. “The returning players’ experience will be important in helping us achieve our goals and expectations after not being able to play in 2020.”

Eckes compiled a 7-4 record with a 4.78 earned-run average and 57 strikeouts in 74 ⅔ innings during the 2019 season, while Geschwill had a 5-1 record with a 2.46 ERA and 36 strikeouts in 37 innings.

“We also have experienced players helping to lead us in seniors Afton Crocker, Rita and Catherine Ganley, as well as junior Maya Orvis,” Sergent said of the letterwinners.

Crocker compiled a .327 batting average while driving in 19 runs in 2019. Rita Ganley batted .205 with 11 walks, 12 runs scored and five stole bases. Orvis batted .203 with five RBI and seven steals. As hitters, Eckes batted .375 with 18 RBI and 13 runs scored while Geschwill batted .390 with 24 runs, 16 walks and 14 stolen bases.

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“We are happy to be playing softball again,” said Sergent, whose team finished 4-4 in the Mid-State Conference and 15-7 overall in 2019

Sergent, whose softball teams have won 334 games in his 28 coaching seasons, is assisted by Monica Sergent and Chad Rudbeck.

The Patriots are scheduled to open Friday, April 9 at Pillager before returning home to host rival Pine River-Backus on Monday, April 12.