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Gustavus head coach Coley Ries excited about future of Gustie softball program

Published: Jun. 10, 2021 at 8:27 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 8:29 PM CDT
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ST. PETER, Minn. (KEYC) — Eagle Lake native and former professional softball player Coley Ries took over as the head coach of the Gustavus Adolphus College softball team last August.

In her first season with the team, she helped guide the Golden Gusties to an overall record of 17-17, including 8-14 against teams from the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, all while navigating through the challenges associated with a global pandemic.

”I’m really excited for this year [2021 season] and the next many years. I think with COVID, obviously, we faced challenges everyone faced,” Ries said. “But with a new coach, trying to bring in a new culture, establish things, we had to do that in the spring while we were competing. I felt like we really got there toward the end, picking up a huge sweep over St. Scholastica, who won the UMAC. I think that was a great way for us to go out, motivate our players that we can play with the best of the best. Going into the fall, I want the fall to be tomorrow because we’ll be able to do all of the things we want to do.”

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The Gusties’ roster only featured one senior this past season, compared to 11 underclassmen, meaning there’s plenty of young talent to watch in the coming years, including Madi Mueller. The former Mankato West standout earned MIAC All-Conference honors as a first-year player after leading the team with a .306 batting average.

In addition to all those pieces, Gustavus is in a great area to recruit and scout players, with the Minnesota State High School Softball Tournament coming through North Mankato.

”Having Caswell [Park] in our backyard and being able to be that close to the sections and state tournaments is really helpful to see a lot of athletes all at one time. I’m excited to be out there and have a true summer of recruiting,” Ries added. “A lot of these athletes missed out last summer, so they’re playing with that much more energy to be noticed. I’m hoping to find those diamonds in the rough and some of those studs to help us reach that next level.”

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