With just two seniors on the roster and last year's pitcher out for the season with a knee injury, freshmen and sophomores will dominate the Two Harbors in the 2019 softball season.
Seniors Tori Bott and Grace Hietala are the only upperclassmen on the team and the pair will be key contributors in the field and at the plate, according to coach Chris Lemke.
The Agates will rely on Bott in particular to drive in runs and as a stabilizing force for the team as it adjusts to freshman pitcher Jasmine Heikkila and new catcher, sophomore Emma Swanson.
Heikkila pitched sparingly as an eighth-grader, but was thrust into the starting role when Emily Olson, last year's starter, was lost for the season to a knee injury during basketball season. Lemke said they are working with Heikkila on control and throwing as many strikes as possible and keeping opponents off the base paths.
The team has enough hitting to be competitive, with Bott, Hietala and sophomore Shayla Marxem to be competitive. However, with such a young team and new starters in key roles, the Agates could have some ups and downs.
"So much depends on the ability to stay in games, especially with a new pitcher and catcher," Lemke said. "They have the ability to do it, but they're young and there will be some volatility."
Two Harbors is scheduled begin its season at 4:30 p.m. Friday, April 5, at Cherry.