Madison High School's softball team finished with a 4-12 record last year and a fourth-place finish in the state tournament.
Key players returning for Coach Dawn Wiebers include senior outfielders Michaela Duff and Haley Hanson; senior infielders Kaylee Johnson (SS), Ashley Schwebach (2B), Marinda Kern (1B), Brooklyn Hodges (3B) and Jordin Delzer (C); along with junior pitchers Sonia Seitz and Morgan Skluzacek.
There are 29 players vying for a position on the varsity team: eight seniors, four juniors, eight sophomores, eight freshmen and one eighth-grader.
"The strengths of the Lady Bulldogs will be the experience and determination of the players," Wiebers said. Other strengths will be the solid defense that the team will play and the speed on the base paths, she said.
Madison lost two players due to graduation: Kara Seitz and Tiffany Heeren.
Wiebers' main concern is making sure the Lady Bulldogs stay healthy throughout the season.
"Most of the girls will double up in another fall sport," she said.
According to Wiebers, the teams to beat are West Central and Dakota Valley.
Madison has played two games so far and beat Harrisburg 9-1 and Lennox 14-5 in varsity competition.
The junior varsity team dropped both games to Harrisburg 8-4 and Lennox 5-2.
Assisting Wiebers are Jerry Seitz, Gary Johnson and Katie Weeldryer.