Softball team has new coach

by Tom Coombe
Ely’s high school softball team will take the field for the first time in nearly two years on Thursday.
And new faces will abound.
The Timberwolves, who open up at home with Chisholm (see schedule), will bear little resemblance to the team that closed out the 2019 campaign.
Cory Lassi has stepped in as the program’s new head coach, while only a handful of Wolves have varsity experience heading into the 2021 campaign.
Covid-19 robbed Ely of its 2020 season, while the 2019 unit boasted several key players who have since graduated.
“We’re going to be really young,” said Lassi, who took over after longtime coach Tom McDonald stepped aside. “We have 20 girls out, but 11 of those are seventh or eighth-graders so we’re going to rely heavily on our girls who are returning, whether they were starters or got time in JV.”
Two Wolves boast multiple years of starting experience.
Senior Sydni Richards has patrolled the outfield for Ely and has hit over .400 her last two varsity seasons.
She joins infielder Charly Flom, who has another potent bat, to give Ely some pop at the top of the lineup.
Pitching is usually paramount in softball, and junior Katrina Seliskar steps into the circle.
“Katrina is our number-one,” said Lassi. “I don’t know if she got any varsity time as a ninth-grader but coming into the season she’s our top pitcher.”
Sophomore Madeline Kallberg, fresh off big seasons in both volleyball and basketball, is another potential pitcher for the Wolves and might also see time catching or at first base.
Eighth-grader Clare Thomas is also in the mix for some pitching duties, while sophomores Rachel and Kate Coughlin figure to be factors in the Ely lineup.
Also sliding in is junior Raven Sainio, who could fill either an outfield or infield spot.
Lassi, who is assisted by Megan Wognum and Tony Rechichi, has spent the first week of practice honing in on fundamentals and playing catch-up. Ely’s teams are starting practice two weeks late because of the Covid-related reset that prompted distance learning until April 12.
“I think our lineup day one will not be our lineup going into playoffs,” said Lassi, who moves over to softball after a decade on Ely’s high school baseball coaching staff. “Hopefully we’ll come out and be fundamentally sound.”