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BBE softball aims for improvement in 2021

Jaguars struggled in their first season under new coach

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BROOTEN — Eric Primus became Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa’s head softball coach in 2019 after leading the Kimball Cubs to the state tournament.

A Melrose High School and Southwest Minnesota State graduate, he’s a special education instructor at BBE.

At Kimball, he took over for hall-of-fame coach Gary Riess, who started the Cubs’ program. With Riess as an assistant coach, the Cubs went to state in 2016 and ‘17.

In his first season coaching the Jaguars, BBE went 4-18. The 2020 season, of course, was canceled because of the pandemic.

Primus and the Jaguars are expecting a much better showing in 2021.

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They have opened with losses to Eden Valley-Watkins (17-2) and Swanville (11-8).

Against the Bulldogs, they hit the ball well, lashing out 11 hits.

Key contributors offensively have been Kyle Winter, Kailey Fischer, Abby Tensen, Faith Radermacher, Bree Radermacher, Emma Buysee and Kaley Fischer.

They have a steady strike-thrower in Jozey Goodall, who walked three and allowed two earned runs in six innings against Swanville.

Defensive miscues have been a problem. The Jaguars made six errors in the Swanville game.

BBE’s Central Minnesota Conference figures to be tough. Holdingford (3-0) is unbeaten early and Maple Lake is a perennial power. The Irish are one of the teams to beat and have a schedule in which they have played larger-school state powers Chaska and Mankato West. They also beat Eden Valley-Watkins 22-0.

BBE’s Section 6A has four unbeaten teams including Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley (4-0), Parkers Prairie (3-0), Browerville/Eagle Valley (2-0) and Rothsay (1-0). Brandon-Evansville (4-1), Hancock (2-1), West Central Area (2-1), Benson (2-1) and New York Mills are all off to good starts.

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