After a rare sub-.500 season, Buena Vista will seek to climb back into the upper division, led by a handful of key returning players.
"We have an optimistic outlook because of the experience of our two junior pitchers and a solid defense," Buena Vista coach Marge Willadsen said. "Consistency will be the key with the ability to get key hits in a clutch situation."
The Beavers' pitching corps features Erin Quass, an all-conference pitcher as a freshman, and Traci Kragel.
Quass had the ninth-best earned-run average (1.74) in the conference last season, ranked fourth in innings pitched (72 1/3) and recorded three shutouts.
They are joined by freshmen Gelene Bousum, a Class 3A fourth-team all-stater from Marshalltown, and Kara Rea, a 2A third-team all-stater from Waukon.
"We have experience and depth with two juniors and two freshmen," Willadsen said of her pitching staff. "We have an increased confidence level from Erin and Traci."
Molly Schuler, a senior from Storm Lake, heads the returning position players. She was a first-team all-conference outfielder last year, was the IIAC's ninth-leading hitter (.389) and ranked fifth with seven doubles and sixth with a .611 slugging percentage. Schuler is moving from right field to center field, replacing Courtney Anderson, who is moving to shortstop.
"Anderson has outstanding quickness and speed," Willadsen said. "She has adjusted very well to her new infield spot after three years in the outfield."
Read the rest of this article in the 4/05/01 Pilot Tribune.