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Milaca’s 2021 varsity softball team will be heading into a different direction as former varsity assistant, Cory Ploeger will step in as head coach for the young Wolves’ squad.  

2020 Results: Season canceled due to COVID-19

The Milaca softball team will be under a new direction entering into the season.

Cory Ploeger, a long time junior varsity coach in the past for the Wolves, will step up to the plate as head coach for Milaca this season.

With many of Ploeger’s player not taking the field due to COVID-19 canceling last season, the new coach plans to focus on the basics of softball. “We talked to our coaching staff and we are going to work on mostly fundamentals, getting back to the basics and then find out where girls are at,” he said.

Even with having coached for Milaca in the past, Ploeger, like many coaches across the nation, isn’t exactly sure with what talent her will return to the squad.

In order to battle that, Ploeger looks to rely heavily on his veteran players that have been with the program to fill roles at the varsity level for the team. “I hope my upperclassman can step up and fill in roles,” he said.

Milaca will bring four seniors to go along with six juniors along with a mix of younger talent to fill out their varsity roster.

Bringing up some younger girls to play with the varsity, senior second baseman Olivia Westling is hopeful of what they can bring to the team. “A lot of the younger girls have good skills,” said Westling.

Joining Westling as a catalyst for the Wolves will be Madison VanDonsel, who will pitch for Milaca this season.

Though staying in shape, not having pitched a game during a spring season in over two years will take a bit of mental preparation for VanDonsel. “Physically, I am fine but I have to mentally prepare to myself to stick through a whole seven innings if needed,” she said.

Helping aid VanDonsel’s appearances toeing the rubber will be a solid defense along with some good bats according to Westling. “I think we have a good defense to back her up, I feel very confident with what I think our infield will be and we have strong hitters. We have her back,” she said.

As the team prepares to dive into the season, Ploeger looks to keep his goals for the season relatively simple. “We are going to play hard, have fun, be competitive and enjoy the game. It’s a 20 game season and I just want to get better each game and progress,” he said.

Ploeger made his head coaching debut April 8, as the Wolves kicked of their season hosting Little Falls in Milaca.

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