Mickschl, a pitcher, helped lead the Royals to the softball state tournament last season, where they lost in the quarterfinals. She was named to the all-conference, all-section and state all-tournament teams in 2015.

 

Q: What was state like last season?

A: It’s just such a different vibe at state, and it’s super exciting all the time. Everybody’s so into it, and it’s really just a good environment.

 

Q: How much does the quarterfinals loss motivate the team?

A: We’re just trying to … not get too ahead of ourselves and really just make sure it’s a team effort all around, and hopefully we can get there again.

 

Q: What did you work on throughout the offseason pitching-wise?

A: I’ve kind of been working more on my drop ball, rise ball. Kind of mixing in more pitches this offseason instead of my velocity. But I’ve kept my velocity up, and hopefully that will help me throughout the season with my other pitches.

 

Q: What are the team strengths this season?

A: Our offense is strong all the way through and our defense is, too, and that really helps as a pitcher to know that your defense can make the plays behind you.

 

Q: Plans after graduation?

A: I am committed to Augustana University in Sioux Falls, it’s a Division II [school]. … I’m just excited to go there and help out.

KAITLIN MERKEL