Softball preview 2023: Lots of experience to build on at KMS Fighting Saints
Fighting Saints have eight returning players from a 16-8 team in 2022
MURDOCK — Behind long-time head coach Eileen Suter and eight returners, Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg enters the 2023 season looking to climb up the Camden Conference softball standings.
KMS returns seven seniors to a Fighting Saints team that finished fourth in the conference with a 12-6 record and an overall record of 16-8 in 2022.
The Fighting Saints’ core is highlighted by seniors Shakira Olson, Josie Gjerde and Avery Joyce. The trio all hit for more than .350 at the plate in 2022.
Olson, a centerfielder coming off a junior season where she was a West Central Tribune All-Area First Team pick and an All-State First Team selection, hit .500 with 44 hits, 40 runs scored, 25 stolen bases and 21 RBIs. She was also an All-Camden Conference selection and an All-Section 3A pick.
Gjerde and Joyce were also members of the all-area team in 2022.
Gjerde, a shortstop and an All-Camden Conference pick, hit for .371 with 24 RBIs, 23 hits, 21 runs and six stolen bases.
Joyce, a third baseman, hit for .394 with 26 hits, 18 RBIs and 17 runs scored. She was also an All-Camden Honorable Mention and an All-Section 3A pick.
Also returning as lineup regulars are seniors in catcher Katlyn Peters, first baseman Julia Carlson and right fielder Elsa Gjerde, and junior pitcher/outfielder Madison Anderson.
Peters hit for a .338 average with 25 hits and 24 RBIs. Carlson hit .261 with 15 RBIs and 12 hits. Elsa Gerde hit .140 with 25 runs, 11 RBIs and eight hits. Anderson batted .258 with 20 hits and 11 RBIs and had an 11-4 record in the circle with a 3.73 ERA.
Emily Wagner, a sophomore left fielder, comes back as a starter. But she is not expected to be in the lineup until May as she recovers from a knee injury.
KMS Fighting Saints schedule
April 11 vs. Benson, 5 p.m.
April 14 at BBE, 4:30 p.m.
April 15 at Wabasso Tournament, 9 a.m. (3 games)
April 18 at RCW/BOLD, 4:30 p.m. (DH; Danube)
April 20 vs. YME, 4:30 p.m.
April 25 vs. Tracy-Milroy-Balaton, 4:30 p.m.
April 27 vs. Lakeview, 4:30 p.m.
May 2 vs. Russell-Tyler-Ruthton, 4:30 p.m.
May 4 at Lac qui Parle Valley, 4:30 p.m. (DH)
May 8 vs. Dawson-Boyd, 4:30 p.m. (DH)
May 11 at MACCRAY, 4:30 p.m. (DH)
May 16 at Canby/Minneota, 4:30 p.m.