Steering the Ship….Once Again
Coach Steve Lyga

Should I take the softball job?
From all of this coaching, do I need a break?
I guess coaching sports is in my blood.
It’s a chance I’ll have to take.

Softball may seem like a new coaching challenge.
Yet to me, it’s actually “old hat”.
I used to be a softball coach before.
I’ll bet most of you didn’t know that.

I was previously head softball coach at Aquinas.
Batting practice I used to toss.
I was the first-ever head softball coach,
for the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

I also had the opportunity to coach York-Northfield Women’s softball.
It was a lot of fun.
We won Class “B” State Softball Championship,
in 1980 and 1981.

Of course, this was back in the eighties.
Twenty one years have since passed.
These girls have had numerous head coaches.
They need someone who’ll last.

So it’s been a lot of years,
since I’ve had the chance to be a “captain” of this ship.
It’s time to right this softball program.
It’s time for me to crack the whip.

Facemasks on helmets are now in vogue,
but softball is still the same.
You still win with solid pitching.
Tough defense is the name of the game.

New uniforms bearing the Pirate’s name,
are colored mostly in black.
A few seniors are returning from last season.
They’ll lead the Pirate attack.

There’s some awfully good leadership in our seniors,
and the underclassmen will rise.
I feel we’ve got some under-rated talent.
I believe we’ll be the Dairyland’s surprise.

Amy Schmidtknecht will lead the defense’s right side.
A solid glove she does possess.
Anne Drazkowski will solidify the shortstop position.
She’ll help us to pass the test.

Beth “Murph” Murphy will play third base.
This girl seems to have NO fear.
She likes sneaking up close to the batter.
She gets herself awfully near.

Brittney Schmitt will lock down second base,
a glove more steady than most.
Carrie Kabus will provide us with speed in the outfield.
Left field will serve as her post.

With a sophomore and junior sharing duties on the mound,
the Pirates will hold their own.
Nicki Dahl and Annette Foegen can really throw the rock.
Some future promise is shown.

Sophomore, Erica Willadsen will control the stern.
She’ll be positioned behind the plate.
Sam Murphy gives us great “hustle’.
Pronschinski and Stevens will help determine our fate.

The season’s first game was on a Saturday.
Lincoln rolled their bus into town.
The Pirate defense was outstanding through six.
But we let them hang around.

We gave up five runs in the 7th.
These “cardiac kids” certainly weren’t done.
The Pirates scored four runs to seal the win.
Now THAT was really a lot of fun!
(C-FC 6, ACL 5)

Let’s load up the bus for a cold trip to Independence.
We need to find out who we are.
We were down by two after four innings.
Our hitting wasn’t really up to par.

The fifth inning was the charm however.
We exploded for 5 runs on six hits.
Foegen and the Pirates went back to work.
These gals seem to live for this.
(C-FC 5, I-G 3)

Bring on the Blair-Taylor Wildcats.
We’re starting to gel and believe.
If we can keep riding this feeling,
there’s no telling what we will achieve.

The Pirates pounded out 9 runs on 8 hits.
They were assisted by 7 Wildcat errors.
The C-FC defense is playing incredible ball.
Nicki Dahl has a gift to share.
(C-FC 9, B-T 3)

The Lady Rivermen were standing in line.
No mercy was shown by C-FC.
We pounded out 14 powerful hits.
Togetherness was becoming the key.
(C-FC 12, Alma 5)

Hey! The Pirate are still undefeated.
Four wins against no defeats.
Eau Claire Immanuel is next in line.
It’s time to tighten our cleats.

Eau Claire has a pitcher in Jessie Meyer.
She has a bazooka-like arm.
If we can play well enough to win,
the Dairyland will surely be put on alarm.

A cold and wet outing, we’re ahead 3 to 1.
We’ve got his thing under control.
We just need to keep playing solid defense,
and we will accomplish our goal.

A very costly error and walk.
A wild pitch and an errant throw gets by third.
This ties up the game, we’ll go extra innings.
Another Pirate error is absurd.
(Eau Claire Immanuel 5, C-FC 4, 8innings)

A rain out at Whitehall forced the Pirates to play,
5 innings in each of two games.
It took just forty minutes to sink the Norse,
a three to 0 score seems quite tame.
(C-FC 3, Whitehall 0)

The second game against the Norsemen,
ended up taking the air out of our sails.
We ran out of time, we came up short.
Another one run loss, because of “rules”, we failed.
(Whitehall 3, C-FC 2)

We’re playing at Blair-Taylor, then off to Lincoln.
A new kind of double header we‘ll try.
The weather this season has been something else.
Under the lights, “It’s do or die.”

The Pirates came out incredibly strong.
Eight runs in the first three frames.
Annette Foegen and company tossed a four hitter.
The Wildcats were really quite tame.
(C-FC 8, B-T 3)

A bus ride to Alma Center for a game under the lights.
A defensive game ‘til the end.
A Hornet runner nailed at the plate in the 6th.
And the Pirate’s had extra energy to spend.

Going into the 7th , tied at one to one.
The offense exploded for 6 more runs.
The 5 seniors tallied 4 hits and a walk.
The Pirates could never be outdone.
(C-FC 7, ACL 1)

The Cards of Eleva-Strum proved to be no match.
We needed no vitamins.
The Pirates marched in and took control.
We coasted to back to back wins.
(C-FC 15, E-S 0) (C-FC 12, E-S 1)

Indee-Gilmanton was up for a rematch.
This Pirate defense will keep them at bay.
After 5 innings of playing in rain,
the lightning flashed and we all scattered on our way.

Before the flash, the Pirates held onto a 5 to 0 lead after four.
A bad inning closed the gap.
Three runs on a couple of errors in the sloppy terrain,
Just where is this Pirate attack?

In the bottom of the 5th, the Pirates came on.
We had two runs and were about to score more.
The ladies in black would never back down.
Their bats stepped up for the chore.
(C-FC 7, Independence-Gilmanton 3)

Eau Claire Immanuel is back for a battle.
The Pirates are poised to avenge this defeat.
Another eight inning contest, we came out on top.
Being in first place feels pretty neat!

A two to one victory, kept us flying high.
Our record is now nine and two (9-2).
A let down against our neighbors to the north,
would certainly make us blue.
(C-FC 2, EC Immanuel 1, 8 innings)

The Pirates came out swinging,
we were pounding the ball hard at the Riverman defense.
A four to zero lead with a half inning to go.
Finish it! Let’s stay intense.

A couple of walks and a hit, a couple of errors for good measure,
the score was tied 4-4.
The lightning returned in the 10th inning.
Later, we’ll need to finish our chore.

Hey! We’ve got a pretty good record.
We’ve beaten most of the teams in our region, indeed.
Through our tenacious defense.
The Pirates have earned the number one seed.

The Melrose-Mindoro Mustangs along with Mesa.
They’re also having a great year.
The stallions only have three losses this season.
We‘re not intimidated, we’ll show no fear.

We believe we can beat the ponies.
But, the Pirates will have to play their best.
We really played a pretty solid game.
The Mustangs really put us to the test.

The Pirates played well.
We held a 4 to 3 lead, going in to the seventh frame.
An infield error gave the Mustangs life.
We ended up losing the game.
(Mel-Min 5, C-FC 4)

This team will have to have a short memory.
On Monday we’ll play the Mustangs again.
But in the mean time, this weekend we’ll take on big schools;
Lodi and West Salem.

The Pirates split their games in this tournament.
With a one and one record, they survived.
The Jr. varsity took first in their part of the tourney.
I wasn’t there, my Grandmother died.
(C-FC 2, Lodi 1) (West Salem 5, C-FC 1)

A final road trip to Mel-Min and the J.V.s didn’t come.
We came out flat as could be.
A defeat by the Mustangs,
but third in the Dairyland is a solid year for the Pirates and me.
(Mel-Min 8, C-FC 3)

I guess we’ll have to finish our extra inning game with Alma.
We’ll try to end this tie.
A short, but soggy inning of “pounding” the ball.
We won, but we lost Murph that night.
(C-FC 9, Alma 4)

We still have the “second season” to prove something.
That we are one of the area’s best.
It’s time to put it all on the line or go home,
I hope the Pirates are still up to the test.

Nicki Dahl and Annette Foegen,
each had a great year on the mound.
The defense chalked up a solid season,
We feel we could be “sectional” bound.

But circumstances led to the Pirates being shorthanded,
in their first tournament game.
A freak accident to Murph sliding into third,
and our squad’s “fire” wasn’t the same.

The injury along with an untimely loss of a loved one,
that sent one of our pitchers south.
We brought up a freshman to play third.
We had a great deal to prove, no doubt.

We would again be playing the Indees.
A team we have defeated twice this year.
Despite the adversity our team was now facing,
we had to shift into high gear.

We only gave up 2 hits to the Indees,
but errors and mental mistakes took its toll.
Runs were scored on wild pitches.
Our hitters could not get on a roll.

A last hurrah for our seniors in the seventh.
Amy and Brittney hit the ball pretty hard.
Too little too late, a three to two defeat,
I guess a trip to state wasn’t in the cards.
(Indee-Gilmanton 3, C-FC 2)

These young ladies earned a lot of respect.
They rose up when things went a little sour.
They played with heart, they never gave up.
They are certainly the girls of the hour.

There’s not another team in the Dairyland,
or our entire area for that matter.
That could play the way these gals played,
being down a pitcher and a batter.

This softball team ended the season with 13 wins.
We only had 6 losses in all.
And four of those losses were by only ONE run.
I’d venture to say we really had a “ball”.

We’ll miss our seniors, they meant a lot to us all.
But we’ll have to mature and move on.
The underclassmen are talented and hungry.
That is, once our seniors are gone.

We all wish them luck in their future endeavors,
they’re very special to all of us here.
But the rest of us have work to do,
If we want to win the Dairyland next year.

I’m sure they’ll be back to show us support,
when they find time to come back home.
We’ll miss them a lot, they helped us become a team.
But they’ve got other places to roam.

Thank you to each and everyone of you.
I really enjoyed this past season.
The Pirate softball program is on its way up.
And the girls sitting here are the reason.

Good luck to each of you as you prepare,
for each sport in which you choose to participate.
But remember each day when you look in the mirror;
“It’s a great day to be a PIRATE!”

All Dairyland Conference
Annette Foegen 1st team Pitcher / Outfielder
Anne Drazkowski 2nd team Shortstop
Nicki Dahl 2nd team Pitcher

Erica Willadsen Honorable Mention Catcher

Sammy Murphy Honorable Mention Outfielder

Contact: Steve Lyga