Please take time to read Mitch McCumber's initial thoughts on the upcoming Siouxland Baseball & Softball season. The SSI Baseball/Softball preview magazine will be released May 14th! We will have more details coming soon. Let's Play Ball!
MARK JOHNSON: 712 258-7770
Written By: Mitch McCumber
SSI Baseball & Softball 2023 Initial Thoughts
After Iowa's third straight day of 75* or more, It feels right to talk about the Girls and Boys of the summer. Last year we had 4 total teams represent Siouxland in both the Softball and Baseball tournament and last year's underclassmen are ready to take the next step.
Olivia Mentzer’s bat is one of the best west of I-35. As a sophomore, Mentzer had 67 hits, 54 rbi’s, and 3 homeruns (all led the team). Look for her numbers to rival that of Sergeant Bluff Luton's Elise Evans-Murphy. The Senior hit 7 long balls last year that led not only her team but all the Conference. Angel Shaw and Kenley Meis look to split the series with the Warriors as Heelan keeps their hat in the ring for a state bid. Lizzie Koonce 17 wins, tied for the lead in conference, along with her 118 mow-downs are the reason LeMars will be able to compete in any game they play.
Hinton graduated more than half their starters last season, contradictory to Remsen St. Mary’s who didn't have a Senior on the roster. It will be interesting to see the rookies versus the vets in the War Eagle. It may not be the wild wild west but, Western Valley rivals Kingsley Pierson and Woodbury Central will look to improve on their efforts last season while still chasing Goliath in Ridge View and West Monona.
State Runner-up Remsen St. Mary’s returns two of the best pitchers in class 1A Jaxon Bunkers and Cael Ortmann. The two seniors can do damage on offense as well. Last year the duo drove in 89 runs combined, paired with the absurd .075 team era and the Hawks look to continue their winning ways. Two teams that gave a game of the year showing at Lewis and Clark Park last season, Bishop Heelan and Sergeant Bluff Luton, look to stay atop the MRAC Conference despite losing the Co-Players of the Year and their respective Aces on the mound. Brady Baker and Shane Sanderson will be key role pieces for Andy Osborne’s Crusaders in 2023, while Tylar Lutgen and Drake Van Meter try to give Matt Nelson a return trip to Iowa City.
Following Northwestern's Baseball campaign, Brian Wede will lead the Dutchman of MOV-Floyd Valley in hopes to run the table with an experienced pitching staff and multiple future college baseball prospects, they will be a favorite to represent Siouxland in Iowa City. The Stars have a rising star on the bump for them in Ayden Schrunk. The Junior who was in the top ten in all of 4A in innings pitched had 84 Strikeouts last season. The rotation for North is deeper than previous years and will need to be sharp going against the high powered bats in the MRAC.