If it looks like the Richmond-Burton softball team is comfortable, confident and familiar with one another when they take the field this season, it’s because they are. Several of the Lady Rockets athletes have been playing together for quite some time now, so they have a good idea of not only their own roles as well as those around them and that should serve them well this season.

“Our team this season has a lot of varsity playing experience under their belts for the most part,” Richmond head coach Stephanie Rasmusen said. “They have played together for several years now and are looking to bring it all together this season.”

The Rockets record from a season ago at 13-20 overall and 5-5 (third place) in conference play may be a little deceiving as to how talented they really were, as the team lost some close bouts that just as easily could have gone either way. Richmond does have some quality playoff experience to feed off of, thanks to winning the regional title and advancing onto the sectionals where they lost in the first round.

The Rockets are hoping that lack of depth won’t become an issue for them this year, as they have to field nine players and currently have 11 on the varsity roster. The team consists of five seniors including one four and another three-year starter, four juniors, one sophomore and freshmen as no team captains have been selected as of yet.

“We are looking forward to the benefits of having some experienced senior leadership this year, as well as the help of a handful of returning juniors as starters,” Rasmusen said. “This should be a fun and exciting season, as we have the potential to be successful.”

Looking to handle the majority of the pitching duties for the Rockets will be Haylea Hoskins and Lily Mazzanti, while they will play the infield when they’re not on the mound. Richmond will also be looking for some good things from the likes of Brogan Etten at third base, Mazzanti at shortstop, Stephanie Pedley at second, Taylor Mell at first, Riley Stanton behind the plate as catcher and Katie Kroll in left field.

Richmond believes that they have the ability and athleticism to be competitive with the league and finish in the top half of the standings. The teams to watch out for this year within the Big Northern Conference are Marengo and Burlington-Central.

“Our goals are to work together as a team, continue to improve and get better and advance as far into the postseason tournament as we can,” Rasmusen said. “We have also been focusing a lot this year on team building and communication.”

The Rockets began practicing Feb. 25th and the girls have been working hard to improve and reach their goals, despite being restricted to the indoors because of the weather. This is Rasmusen’s sixth year at the helm for the Rockets, where she looks to continue to build for the future by doing more with the in-house program such as having camps and clinics.


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