The Pine River-Backus Tigers softball team has five returning starters from a squad that finished 5-2 in the Upper Mississippi Conference and 11-8 overall in 2019.

Those returning starters are seniors Danielle Burgoyne, Rylee Norman, Annabelle Toothman-Knapp and Jaime Johnson; and sophomore Ramsey Tulenchik.

“We look forward to the opportunity to play after losing a complete season last year because of COVID-19,” said PR-B coach John Riewer, who has compiled an 85-35 record in five seasons coaching the Tigers. “I’m looking forward to working with the girls and improving our fundamentals of the game. Hopefully, we can be competitive and improve throughout the season. There are a lot of unknowns for our ball club, but we will appreciate the time we have together.”

Other players include: seniors Gracie Crimmins and Hanna Milham; Juniors Mara Adams, Michaela Holm and Chloe Beavers; Sophomores Debren Popkes, Payton Rogers; and Andrea James (manager); and Freshman: Neveah Middendorff, Brooke Roubal, Ashley Shamp, Julia Shogren, Averie Sawyer, Victoria Koering and Madelyn Toothman-Knapp.

PR-B would like to build off its success in recent years - including winning four straight conference titles from 2015 to 2018 and advancing to the Class A state tournament in 2016.

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Connor Guetter is an assistant coach for PR-B, which is scheduled to open the season Monday, April 12, at Pequot Lakes.