Experience goes a long way when a team is trying to turn their program around, and the Bethel softball team will have come quality experience to rely on this season.

Coach Jeremy Reittinger knows that the wins were few last season, and he wants to turn things around with a group of kids who are now more experienced and ready.

“I have always tried to raise the expectation level every year, but last year I think we had a rough season,” Reittinger said. “We did not have too many wins, and we did not play to well.”

“With our large group of juniors playing their third year, it could well be the best team I have had since I have been here.”

“We took some poundings last year, and I think we will be better this year. I am not sure if that translates into wins, but we will definitely be better.”

Early in the pre-season, the Bees have worked hard to improve on the things that didn’t do well last year.

“I haven’t tried to change the attitude, but I think we are more organized, and we have the right leadership. It wasn’t there in the past.”

Three seniors will provide the most leadership with their experience, including Becky Schwieterman who will handle the third base position.

“She is an amazing fielder and could have an opportunity to go play somewhere if she feels she wants to,” Reittinger said, who added Schwieterman will bat third in the lineup. “She comes from an athletic family, and is a vacuum over there at third.”

Ashley Buckholz will play left field for the Bees, and according to Reittinger said she will make an impact in the field, and provide leadership. Also play in the outfield will be senior Kayla Grable and will be used as the main threat on the bases.

Five juniors also reside on the Bethel lineup, including Morgan Reittinger who will catch for the Bees, Megan Shaeffer at first base, who have both started since their freshman year.

“It is nice with the move-ins we have to put some pressure on those girls who started as a freshman and think they will just start their whole careers. They are being pushed.”

Madi Cain is another junior who will be a utility player who can play both infield and outfield. Madison Inman will play second base again this year and bat leadoff.

“She has good softball IQ and plays some summer ball,” Reittinger said. Molly McKinney is an athletic junior who will play in the outfield for the Bees.

Also for Bethel, five sophomores are on the varsity squad, including Jessica Gilbride who will take over some of the pitching duties. Emma Flory is a first baseman.

Madison Costo is a sophomore move-in who is another utility player who will see time in the outfield to start.

Also back is Grace Anthony, who was a first-team all-conference player as a freshman, and is being counted on for a big season for the Bees.

“For her to make first-team in our league as a freshman is great,” Riettinger said. Hannah Agee is also a sophomore who is expected to help the Bees.

Freshman Heather Strumberger is up and coming, playing some summer ball. Another freshman Sarah Costo is a pitcher and shortstop and is being counted on to contribute right away.

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