Wis. -- Concordia University Wisconsin head coach Steve
Crook has most of his considerable arsenal back from a best-ever
32-10 team that could challenge for the 2012 Northern Athletics
CUW hit .322 as a team last season, led by junior Cara Landherr's (Waukesha, Wis.) .491 average. Landherr hit four home runs and drove in a team-leading 44 runs.
Sophomore teammate Mariah Giesseman (Sturgeon Bay, Wis.) was also potent at the plate with a .361 average, as were senior Sarah Cochran (Bloomington, Ill.) and junior Abbie Goetsch (Grayslake, Ill.). Goetsch had five home runs and accounted for 27 RBI.
Junior Janelle Schroder (Colgate, Wis.) hit .317 and junior Holly Zinnecker (Roscoe, Ill.) ended the season at .301, are other returning starters who had considerable success at the plate last season.
Crook is also excited about the team's incoming freshmen, a group expected to provide immediate contributions at various areas around the diamond.
"Overall, our freshman class will give us depth at key positions," Crook said. "In particular, Jessie Liszka and Sarah Skarda will provide added speed and athleticism."
On the mound, CUW will look first to senior Danielle Burke (Burlington, Wis.) who crafted a 14-4 record last season with a 2.29 ERA. Sophomore Jamie Schuh (Freedom, Wis.) was 9-3 with a 3.06 ERA, and senior Sheri Weidner (Mt. Prospect, Ill.) finished 7-3 with a 2.92 ERA.
"Jamie Schuh is fully recovered from a leg injury that lingered for most of the 2011 sesaon," Crook said. "She will be a strong asset for us in the circle."
The Falcons open their season this Saturday with games against UW-Stout and Bethel in Rochester, Minnesota. The action is scheduled to start at 4:45 p.m.