Sawyer Strelnieks – staff writer
More snow? No softball team likes seeing flurries fly during the middle of their season. It can be frustrating staying positive and motivated for long stretches of bad weather. The Dordt softball team has looked on the bright side of all this weather by keeping practices fun and doing lots of team activities.
Over spring break, the team took a trip to Arizona where they played 11 games (6-5) against various teams. This was a great bonding experience for the team, said several players, as they road tripped all the way to Tucson to play in the warm weather.
“I think my favorite part about this year are the girls on the team,” said sophomore infielder Marissa VandenBerg. “We have so many girls that click well together and we all understand each other.”
Coming back to blizzards has been a challenge after their spring break trip. They have had many of their games canceled or rescheduled due to cold temperatures or snow. To stay positive about the weather, the girls have done various bonding activities as a team to help one another build relationships between teammates.
Recently, the team shoveled off their field as one of their team-bonding activities.
“It seemed like a lot of work,” said sophomore pitcher Rachel Evavold. “It ended up being really fun and I think we grew closer as a team.”
Despite the weather, the girls managed to sneak in several games, “Starting out a little rocky,” according to Krista Bousema, senior catcher and infielder.
The team went 0-6 in conference play, losing some close games. Later in the season, the team has come together, with a current record of 18-15 and 7-7 in conference play.
“We are getting on a roll and are right where we want to be: Playing our best at conference tournament time” Bousema said.
The team’s goal this year is to make it to the tournament coming up this May. They made it last season and plan to get just as far again this year.
The team has been working hard to string together all the different aspects of softball to form a well-rounded team as the season winds down.
“There are three main parts to softball: Pitching, offense and defense,” said junior catcher Abby Smith. “In the beginning of the season, we would pitch and play defense really well. Or have really good offense. Now, I think we are finally understanding how to string all three aspects of the game together, making us more successful.”
Along with combining all the different parts of softball to form a strong team, the girls also focus on keeping things simple, worrying about only the current game.
“We think about the game right in front of us,” said junior pitcher Tianna Top. “We have a talented team and we are not putting limits on what we can do.”
The team is working daily to improve the different aspects of their game and build chemistry between every player, which has been tough when constantly being stuck indoors.
The softball team has had to share the Rec Center with the baseball and track teams, all of which have been praying and hoping for warmer weather. After months of waiting, it is finally warming up outside, and everyone is migrating to their respective fields and tracks to finally train and compete outside.
The softball team finishes their regular season with a doubleheader at home against Briar Cliff on April 25, a doubleheader at Dakota Wesleyan on April 26 and a double header at Concordia on April 28.