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The Mount Ayr Raiderettes are set to take the field after a successful track and field season ended on Saturday.
The team will return three seniors from last year’s roster with center fielder Payten Lambert, a returning all-conference player, first baseman and Southwestern Iowa Community College softball commit Halsie Barnes, a two-time all-conference infielder who boasts a career .800 slugging percentage and a .950 fielding percentage and pitcher Addy Reynolds, a University of Northern Iowa softball commit and three-time all-conference selection and all-state player who returns a .900 slugging percentage as well as over 15 career home runs and an ERA of 2.25.
“The value of leadership with these three is something that just can’t be measured,” said head coach Bret Ruggles. “These three girls are outstanding students, athletes and people. Our practices have had a lot of energy and we are seeing some really good things because of these three and the leadership skills that they are showing.”
Along with the three seniors, a multitude of returning players will fill the roster.
Third baseman and pitcher Zoey Larsen brings a strong bat to the lineup, while outfielder Tegan Streit will be a great contact hitter from the top of the lineup and Breya Nickle comes back after a successful season behind the plate.
Newcomers to the team are outfielders Tabby Henle, Aubree Clark, Kianna Paxson and Josie Vanderflught.
Infielders Hayden Ruggles, Linsie Barnes, Jaxy Knight and Kalee Wise and Reegan Waldier look to add talent to the team.
On the base paths, the Raiderettes have valuable experience with Makenna Jones and Josie Vanderflught.
“It’s kind of weird because on paper, we look like we are inexperienced, but all of these girls have been in our program for so long that we don’t see it that way,” said coach Ruggles. “Zoey is going to have a monster season this year and we are really exited to see what Jaxy, Linsie and Hayden bring to our roster. Tabby rotated in the outfield last year, so we will have a lot of good experience out there and we have total confidence in Kalee Wise, Josie Vanderflught and Aubree Clark to help out our schedule. We also picked up two new players from Diagonal this year and they have been a great asset to our team. Taylor Lumbard is really coming along and when we get Anna Newton healthy, we will get her into the mix as well. We love seeing this competitive atmosphere and it really makes us better as a team.”
The Raiderette were ranked by the Iowa Girls Athletic Union before their first game had been played, at 14th overall, just ahead of Jesup in 15th, in Class 2A.