Experience gives strength to Tanager softball team

Returning nine letterwinners, including seven starters, from last season, gives the Vermillion High softball team a chance for a highly successful season.

Twenty-one girls reported for duty to Coach Lori Jerred, including a pair of the state's best pitchers, senior Jenny Bye and sophomore Lizzy Bye. The roster also includes two All-State players, Jenny Bye and Kayla Munger.

With so many returnees to the varsity, the chance for the JV team to gain valuable experience exists. Jerred said the JV team is looking very strong. Its roster ranges in age from junior class to seventh grade.?The varsity opened the season with a 10-1 five-inning thumping of Mitchell in Sioux Falls Sunday.

Lizzy Bye allowed three hits and struck out nine in gaining the win. To help her own cause, she slugged a pair of doubles. Sami Girard had two singles, Megan Chickering a double and Munger, Ashley Ouellette and Molly LeCates a single apiece. A strong Pipestone club handed Vermillion a 2-1 loss in the Tanagers' other Sunday game. Jenny Bye sustained the pitching loss despite striking out 12.  Meanwhile, VHS could muster only two hits – singles by Munger and Beth Szymonski – off the Arrow hurler.

The JVs split their games, losing to Pipestone but defeating Dell Rapids. The VHS varsity and JVs will be in action in Yankton Sunday, both playing Yankton at 12:30 and Lennox at 2 p.m.

Jerred's roster includes seniors Ouellette, Jenny Bye, Molly LeCates, Megan Chickering, Laura Sappingfield and Munger; juniors Lindsey Robinet, Carlee Sorensen and Ellen Brown; sophomores Szymonski, Claire Jones, Lizzy Bye, Girard and Jonna Lynch; freshmen Shelby Christopherson, Elly Miller, Sam Schuster and Paige Olson; eighth-graders Melissa Chickering and Brynn Albers and seventh-grader Melissa LeCates.

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