Raue hoping experience translates into more wins in 2012 for Tosa West
Radske, Lindstrom are all-conference returnees
Wauwatosa West third-year coach Ed Raue is hoping last year's experience will pay off with more victories this season.
The Trojans were sixth last year in the Woodland Conference Black Division with a 3-14 league mark and a 3-18 overall record.
"We are very excited for the season," Raue said. "Last year we didn't win many games but we gained valuable experience. I think 2011 was a lesson in patience. Teaching the players a position last year, hopefully, gives them confidence this year."
The Trojans have two honorable mention all-conference players among their eight letter winners.
One was senior catcher Anna Radske, who threw out four runners in one game, also had a .528 on base percentage.
The other is sophomore pitcher Ashley Lindstrom, who led the team in hits as a freshman.
Other returnees are senior third baseman Martha Schuster, who had nine assists in one game and senior Carra Gaines, a third-year varsity player who plays a strong center field.
Also coming back are Sara Bernaski, Nicole Savignac and Alysia Vulgaris and junior Tori Waslicki.
Eight seniors will be counted to lead the team, starting with Radske, Savignac and Gaines up the middle at catcher, second and center field, respectively.
"Shuster with her steady glove and confident bat, returns at third and senior Alexis Hafemeister leaves three years of track to join our strong outfield," Raue said. "We're hoping her speed adds a new dimension to the team's offense."
Raue is counting on freshman Kady Johnson to play shortstop.
"With a steady glove and accurate arm, Johnson has the team buzzing about her calm demeanor and confident play," he said.
But Raue will also be counting heavily on Lindstrom.
"She has worked very hard this off-season and looks to be considered one of the conference's best players," Raue said. "She has increased her pitching velocity and become more accurate with her location.
"In the box, she has adjusted her swing to create more explosion off the bat. She wants to be great in this game, not just a player and we are hoping the hard work pays off for her and the team."
Raue said New Berlin Eisenhower, South Milwaukee and Greenfield are the class of the conference.
"Ike has two returning stud pitchers in (Jamie) Kilps and (Katie) Lang, plus the returning experience," he said. "They are the class of the conference, maybe the area.
"(Riley) Budde makes South Milwaukee go. She is a heck of a shortstop and a solid hitter. And (coach) Jack Miller always has a solid, fundamentally strong team at Greenfield."
Raue will also welcome some talented newcomers to his coaching staff.
Tori Franz and Ashley Imperiale bring playing and coaching experience to the team, as Franz played at New Berlin Eisenhower and coached at New Berlin West and Imperiale brings her all-conference talents from Greendale.
The Trojans are busy this week, having scrimmaged Tosa East on Monday, playing at Whitnall on Tuesday and Milwaukee Lifelong Learning/Reagan on Wednesday and New Berlin West at 4:15 p.m. Thursday.
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