Softball preview 2023: ACGC Falcons return plenty of experience
Falcons have nine starters back intent on improving upon last season’s 2-17 record
GROVE CITY — Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City finished with a 2-17 overall record in 2022, but with nine softball starters returning the Falcons are optimistic entering the 2023 season.
“Many of our starters are returning with experience which will be very beneficial,” ACGC head coach Brad Nelson said of his Falcons that held a 1-13 record in the Central Minnesota Conference in 2022. “Our pitching looks to build and continue to improve.”
ACGC brings back all of its pitchers except Abbie Kragenbring. Those pitchers are senior Haley Wilner, junior Mikaili Johnson and sophomore Kendall Miller.
Miller pitched the most innings for the Falcons in 2022 and earned their two wins. She pitched 63 innings with a 10.56 earned-run average and 58 strikeouts.
Wilner pitched 8-1/3 innings with seven strikeouts and Johnson pitched 5-2/3 innings with a pair of strikeouts.
On top of its experienced pitching, ACGC returns four batters who batted better than .300 in 2023.
Wilner leads the way, coming off a 2022 campaign where she posted a .559 average with a team-best 33 hits and 17 runs scored.
Miller (.341), Johnson (.339) and sophomore Mackenzie Powers (.308) also hit above .300.
Seniors Haley Barker and Jilyanii Sauceda and sophomore Kyla Bierwerth are also players to watch for the Falcons, according to Nelson.
ACGC Falcons schedule
April 11 at Minnewaska, 4:30 p.m.
April 13 at BBE, 4:30 p.m.
April 17 at Paynesville, 4:30 p.m.
April 20 at Royalton, 4 p.m. (DH)
April 25 vs. Eden Valley-Watkins, 4:30 p.m.
April 27 vs. Maple Lake, 4:00 p.m. (DH)
May 1 vs. BBE, 4:30 p.m.
May 4 at Kimball, 4 p.m. (DH)
May 8 vs. Paynesville, 4:30 p.m.
May 9 at Sauk Centre, 4:30 p.m.
May 11 vs. Holdingford, 4 p.m.
May 15 at Eden Valley-Watkins, 3:30 p.m.
May 16 at Montevideo, 5 p.m.
May 19 vs. Dassel-Cokato, 4:30 p.m.