Anoka-Ramsey Community College’s softball program will have very few players return from a team that had an 11-17 record last season and a 5-5 finish in the Minnesota College Athletic Conference.
Coach Dave Alto believes the basics of putting the ball in play and executing the fundamentals of the game to be the top priorities for the young team.
Orono native Laurie Ernhart and Ashley Matthews, a PACT Charter School graduate, will split starts on the pitching rubber.
“They will need to adjust to college ball quickly,” Alto said. “They both have excellent potential but there will be a wait-and-see period.”
Look for Anoka grad Janessa Haller to hit well (.289 batting average last season) and make plays at second base. Kendall Sandberg (Cambridge-Isanti) will split time between catcher and shortstop and Elk River-native ReAnna Newman will patrol the outfield.
Alto hopes to see the infield return to fundamentally sound fielding to reduce errors. The range of the outfielders has increased so that should help reduce the runs given up this spring.
Staying healthy is another key for the Golden Rams. The team already lost two players and as Alto put it: “[We] can’t afford [to lose] anymore.”
Jason Olson is at