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June 3, 2015     Sioux County Index-Reporter
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June 3, 2015

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summer sports preview Page 4 June 3, 2015 The 2015 Western Christian baseball team: Front from left: Trey Schemper, Justin Grevengoed, Brady Van't Hul, Carter Pollema, Justin Faber, Carter Broek, Taylor Miedema. Back: Jesse Jansma, Colyn Oosetnink, Alex Vander Stoep, Tyson Kooima, Austin Johnson, Josh Dykstra and Caden Fenchel. Photo/Nathan Broek. Wolfpack baseball to lean on experience for 2015 By Jacob Tilstra I Writer After a year of rebuilding, Western Chris- tian is set to have a memorable season. With five seniors on the team for 2015, the Wolfpack looks to improve upon last year's record of 8-15. Fourth year head coach Brent Van Maanen hopes that the more experienced team will be able to bring a level of skill and execution to the team this coming year. "We have experience back and we think that will help get us some big hits in some close games" Van Maanen said. "Last year we struggled doing that and it was the difference in some of our games. We also want to be able to execute in all three phases of the game - pitching, hitting and defense" Western Christian's pitching may be its biggest strength this season, with the re- turn of many of last year's starting pitchers. Of last season's 152 innings pitched, 117 were pitched by returning players. Leading the bullpen this year are seniors Justin Faber and junior Austin Johnson. Faber had a total eight starts last season, racking up a total of 19 strikeouts and an ERA of 2.88. Johnson led the team in strike- outs last season with a total 29 in 35-1/3 innings. Van Maanen sees Johnson as one of the most promising newcomers on the team. "He (Austin Johnson) did start for us a couple times last year, so he does have varsity experience," said Van Maanen."This year we have been working on improving his control and hold the opposing offense. He has looked good so far in practice" At the plate, the Wolfpack poses a threat with three batters that have averages over .300. Brady Van't Hul, a returning senior, led the team last season in both hits with 31 and runs with 21.Van't Hul also posted the team's best average of .369. Other notable hitters from last year are Carter Pollema (.324 Avg. 24 Hits) and Ca- den Fenchel (.359 Avg., 14 Hits) For conference favorite, Van Maanen chose LeMars. "LeMars is always up there and has al- ways been a good program and I think Spirit Lake and Spencer will also be up there" W01fpack hope to improve record witll new coach By Nathan Broek Sports Editor HULL-The Western Chris- tian softball team finished 13-8-1 last season and hope a new coach can bring that extra spark for this season. Kayla Bartman enters her first season as head coach after being a former player and an assistant coach. She expects her team to be good on offense once again with improvements in pitching as well. "We had a solid group of girls last season with two great senior leaders on the team, but we were also very young. This season we hope that experience will come out to continue to improve in our hitting and in our pitching,"she said. Seniors Jamie Gesink and Kenzie Bousema are hoping to take those lead- ership roles on offense this season. Bousema is the leading returning starter after hitting .413 with four home runs and 14 runs bat- ted in. Gesink ended 2014 with a .303 batting average with four home runs and 19 runs batted in. Bartman said with the extended track and field season, hitting may take its time to shape, but listed that as the biggest strength for her team. What might hold the Wolfpack back is their pitching staff. "We haven't had much time as a full team to work on our hitting, but up and down the lineup we have some good hitters that can do well for us," Bart- man said. "We will have to see who will step up for us pitching-wise, because we don't have that solid num- ber one yet:' he Lakes Conference looks to be wide open with Western Christian hoping to be in the mix. "If we continue to hit the ball like we can night in and night out, we have a chance" Bartmaan said. ] 179815 DORDT C:OLLIG 498 Fourth Ave NE, Sioux Center, IA 51250-1606 (712) 722-6011 Fax: (712) 722-1198 800-343-6738 Italia m :: Hull 439-2406 145765 De Koster & Do Koster i Attornoys at Law . 1102 Main Street II P.O. Box 801 II Hull, Iowa 51239-0801 Phone: 712-439-2511 Hegg Memorial Health Center Avera$ 1202 21 st Ave Rock Valley, IA 51247 (712) 476-8000 230118 The Western Christian softball team. Front from left: Front Row: Kelsie Van't Hul, Kylie Van't Hul, Madison Byl, Syndey Stiesma Middle Row: Erica Bousema, Jamie Gesink, Brittany Buren, Alyssa Buren, Brooklyn Van Oort Back Row: Kenzie Bousema, Corrie Jansen, Josie Stiemsma, Janae Wynia, Allison Kollis. Photo/Jacob Tilstra. 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