The Leavenworth Pioneers opened their softball season on Tuesday in a doubleheader against De Soto.

Prior to the first game, head coach Callie Farrell said practices were going well but the team was at the point where they needed a game to see where they were at.

The weather caused the team to alter practices early on in the season. Farrell said the team either practiced in the small gym and occasionally went outside on the turf field. 

“(Last) week has been the first time we have been able to go outside and it’s great,” Farrell said.

The Pioneers have five seniors returning this year and are returning all but three from last year. 

“Honestly we are returning everyone but three kids,” Farrell said. “We had a lot of success with those that are coming back. We should see a lot out of McKenzie Brown and Alyssa and Leah Siechepine.”

Leadership will be the biggest key to success, according to the coach.

“If our leadership can follow through, our team will do great things,” she said.

This season will bring new changes for Leavenworth with the Pioneers joining the United Kansas Conference after previously being in the Sunflower League. Leavenworth also returned to 6A this season after the reclassification was announced in the fall. 

Farrell said she’s extremely excited for the new conference. She said the Sunflower League was “monstrous” and can be intimidating. 

“So being in (the UKC) with schools we know will hopefully be more motivating and competitive for us,” Farrell said.

The coach said she is excited for the tournament at Turner and said the girls are looking forward to the Pioneers’ game with Lansing.