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Beckman’s 2021 varsity softball team: front from left, Mallory Rea, Lil McDermott, Trista Schmidt, Abby Knepper and Shea Steffen; second row, Reese Osterhaus, Kaylee Ludwig, Nell McDermott, Charlie Wulfekuhle, Addi Burlage and Mia Maiers; back row, Isabell Kruse, Kam Klas, Elizabeth Kerper, Jenna Lansing, Lauren Osterhaus, Keeley Schmitt.

“We are very experienced, but at the same time very young.” Those are the words of sixth-year Beckman softball coach Ryan Meissner when talking about his 2021 team.

He returns a bevy of starters from last year that include all-conference and all-state first baseman Keeley Schmitt. Joining her are fellow seniors Jadyn Welling and Nell McDermott, juniors Lauren Osterhaus, Kaylee Ludwig and Kam Klas, sophomores Lil McDermott and Shea Steffen and freshman Reese Osterhaus.

Meissner also has some returning letterwinners in sophomores Trista Schmidt, Elisabeth Kerper and Abby Knepper.

Listed as promising newcomers are junior Isabell Kruse, sophomores Addi Burlage, Jenna Lansing, Mia Maiers and Charley Wulfekuhle and freshman Mallory Rea.

“We hope to build upon some of the lessons learned in the past,” added Meissner. “We will need to depend on our defense and hitting for a while. Our pitching is very young but improving daily.

It needs to come together better than last year. We do have a couple of holes to fill due to graduation and injury. Unfortunately, one of those injured is our three-year starting catcher, but the team has rallied around her and is focused on winning in her absence.

“I am very much looking forward to seeing how our team develops. I know potential is a dangerous word but this team has a lot of it.”

Meissner listed Solon, Mount Vernon and Marion as the teams to beat on the East side of the WaMaC, Williamsburg, Independence and Benton on the West. “The WaMaC is loaded as usual,” he said, “and those teams should lead the way.”