In 2019 the Ogilvie Lions softball team improved not only in wins, but in strength and positive energy. And with five graduating seniors, the team will look to experienced varsity players for leadership next spring.
“Our team record was 2-13, which is more wins that we had last year,” said head coach Jessica Bester. “So we improved - but just not quite what we wanted in terms of win improvement.”
“We developed our mental toughness, and we’ll look to continue that strength next year. We didn’t have as many ‘run rule’ games this spring (where games are ended if the score is lopsided), and that was huge!”
The Lions finished the season in fifth place in the Great River Conference and sixth in Section 5 A East. They were eliminated from postseason play with an 8-5 loss to Hinckley-Finlayson on May 20. Last spring they finished with a 1-12 record, seventh place in both the subsection and the GRC, and lost to Isle in Section play.
“Even though we lost, our best performance came in the sub-section game against Hinckley-Finlayson. We didn’t give up, and we went into the bottom of the sixth tied 5-5,” Bester said. “Another highlight was beating Braham 12-11 in extra innings on May 2. We came back a couple of times to tie the game, and that brought our mental toughness in.”
The Lions had new experiences this spring, said Bester. “We fielded a junior varsity team. And we sent a team to Florida for spring training which not only got the girls playing on dirt sooner, but let them see other competition from outside the state.”
Senior Maizy Burk was Ogilvie’s top offensive player, and junior Cori Olson was the top defensive player. Both were named to the GRC All-Conference team.
Bester said the Lions will miss the five seniors who have been with the team since ninth grade. “And we’ll look for new leaders to arise on and off the field before next season. Juniors Telscha Berg, Maddie Chidester, Cori Olson and Kelsi Olson played varsity the past two or three years. So we’ll look to them to help change our culture a bit, and continue the hard work they did this year.”
“I think our players’ expectations for next season are the same as mine: continue to win more games, and stay competitive against those tougher teams.”