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Red Arrow pieces in place for banner season

When a team returns eight of its starters, plus its top two hurlers, there does not appear to be many possible questions let alone surprises.

The only true shake-up will be in the dugout. Gone, is the familiar silver haired venerable Lowell softball coach, Bob Rodenhouse.

In his place is Bill McElroy, who served as an assistant for the past 10 years under Rodenhouse.

The new coach, tight lipped about his club, knows this group of players went 20-10 last year before bowing out in the regional to Hudsonville (eventual state champion).

” I don’t like to¬† give away all my secrets,” McElroy¬† explains with tongue firmly planted in cheek.

What is known is Lowell will return starting pitchers Kalie Petroelje and Morgan Groom to the circle. “We are looking for a break out year from Morgan as one of the elite pitchers in West Michigan,” McElroy said.

The first-year coach is also expecting big improvements from everyone at the plate in 2011. A couple of people who have been doing well early are junior co-captain Lindsey Crawford as well as juniors Carissa Paiz, MJ Vietzke, Sarah Mogor and Jenna Smith.

Defensively, Lowell will be held in good stead.

“I’ve got some solid defenders in seniors Kelly Wyckoff (Captain), Brianna Richardson, Rachel Wold and Kalie Petroelje. As seniors we are also looking to them for leadership,” McElroy explained.

Battling for the conference’s top spot will be defending champion Northview along with Grand Rapids Christian and Lowell.

“Our goals includes winning a league title and a regional championship,” McElroy concludes.