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Raising funds for upcoming softball season

Lady Panthers set sights on season ahead

By Sue Sitter - | Apr 3, 2021

Sue Sitter/PCT Among the Rugby Lady Panthers serving at their fish fry fundraiser were, from left, Ally Graner, Joey Wolf, Mariann Kraft, Adison Dosch and Amy Volk.

After a year away from the softball diamond, the Rugby Lady Panthers hosted a community fish fry March 26 to raise funds for their team and connect with their community.

“We’re raising money for equipment and all the stuff we need for the season,” said Panthers Head Coach Miriah Yoder. “It’s a good fundraiser. The Eagles have been doing this for the past two years.”

“All the girls are serving and dishing up and helping clean up,” Yoder said as team members served meals of fish, baked potatoes, coleslaw and more. “It’s a big team thing so the community can get to know us a little better and we get to see faces you might not normally see every day.”

Yoder, who is in her first year as head coach, and Olivia Erpelding, who’s serving as assistant coach for her first year, helped the team make sure things ran smoothly.

Yoder said the Panthers were ready to play after their 2020 season was canceled by the global COVID pandemic.

The team had the good fortune to begin practices in unusually dry, warm weather this spring.

“It’s fun out on the field,” Yoder said. “We didn’t have to practice inside at all. We got to go onto the field right away.”

“So, being able to go out on the field and getting a feel for it, not having practiced for two years for some of them who didn’t play summer ball, it’s good to get back in the swing of it and they’re excited and ready for game day,” Yoder added. “It’s awesome.”

“They’re looking really good (at practice),” Yoder said. “It’s different this year. Coach Erpelding and I are both new to the program, so we’re looking at different styles and how we like to run practice and drills.”

“But they’re being troopers about it,” she said of the team. “They’re working really hard and really ready to learn new things. It’s going to be a great year and we’re really looking forward to it.”

Yoder said of the competition for this year, “Looking at the schedule, we really haven’t seen any of (the other teams) play. We aren’t 100 percent sure about them, but we’re going to be coming prepared and play every game ready to compete and give our best and be confident in our ability as a team.”

“I’m super excited about (the season),” Yoder added. “Softball is a passion of mine and Coach Erpelding’s and we’re just ready to get going and build the sport of softball in Rugby and hopefully, we can keep it going for years to come.”

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