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Covenant Chr Athletics

We are the CHARGERS!!


Covenant Chr Athletics

We are the CHARGERS!!

Covenant Chr Athletics

We are the CHARGERS!!



6.0 years ago by Travis Van Bemmel

Covenant Christian softball team regroups after loss of starting pitcher to knee injury

By John Raffel | Advance Newspapers 
on March 30, 2018 3:56 PM

GRAND RAPIDS -- Covenant Christian coach Travis Van Bemmel enters the season optimistically with his softball team.

Now in his 20th year as coach, Van Bemmel admits the Chargers will face a major challenge right off the bat.

“Last year’s pitcher Grace Mulder tore her ACL during volleyball season, and is unable to play this season,” Van Bemmel said. “This is a huge loss for our team, and everyone will have to step up on defense.”

The 2017 team, an independent, was 9-27 overall. A victory over Lowell was a key highlight.

“The 2017 team was a team that improved throughout the season, and at the end of the year was very competitive and a tough team to beat,” Van Bemmel said.

Key graduation losses from last year include four-year starter Danae Decker and outfielder Taylor Vink.

Among the key returning players is senior second baseman and pitcher Brianna Meulenberg.

“Brianna will share the pitching duties this year,” Van Bemmel said. “She’s a good contact hitter.”

Aubrey Schimmel is a senior catcher who hits with good power and has excellent speed. Senior center fielder Alyssa Mastbergen also hits with power and sophomore shortstop Olivia Koole has good speed, is a good contact hitter, and is improving defensively.

Senior Emily Vink will primarily be an outfielder this year, after spending most of the season at first base last year.

“Emily adds speed to our outfield,” Van Bemmel said. “These four will have to be leaders in the dugout and on the field.”

Covenant Christian has some promising newcomers with sophomore second baseman/pitcher Lauren Riemersma, freshman third baseman Emma Van Bemmel, and sophomore first baseman/outfielder Dee Corson.

“Lauren will step into a starting pitching role this year,” Van Bemmel said. “Emma hits with some power. She is stepping into the starting role at third base. Dee is a good contact hitter.

“This group has been working hard, and they want to win. Defense must be a strength if we hope to compete. This is group with a lot of softball knowledge. They know and understand the game. We hope to compete for a district championship in 2018. The girls have high expectations for themselves.”

Van Bemmel wants his team to focus on improvement, rather than wins and losses.

“Everyone will need to accept their role on this team and be willing to do things for the good of the team,” Van Bemmel. “We need to concentrate on getting better as individuals in order to have team success.

“Our pitchers will need to eliminate walks to allow our defense to make plays. With young pitchers, this can be an issue. We will need to play solid defense. With our youth in the infield and on the mound, we cannot afford to give teams extra outs.”