Bri Gardner — Staff writer
Softball is up and running at Dordt University. The varsity team earned three wins during the second American State Bank Dome Classic on Feb. 17 and 18, putting their current win-loss ratio at 6-2.
The team began their weekend with a close 6-5 win against Dakota State University. They ended the weekend with a comfortable 9-2 lead against Peru State College. Brooklyn Cox, a junior outfielder from Brush, Colorado, hit a home run in the second inning. This home run marks Dordt’s second of the season, with another home run against Peru State on a separate occasion, hit by Ella Koster, a senior outfielder from Dorr, Michigan, on Feb. 10.
In comparison to previous years, the Defender’s win-loss ratio is much improved. In 2022, the win-loss ratio was reversed, with two wins and six losses at this point in the season. In 2021 the ratio was five wins to three losses.
Varsity players practice every day of the week, beginning with stretches, short sprints, and throwing, before head coach Jeff Zomer and his staff split up outfielders and infielders for specialized practice drills.
Lorelai Parreira, a freshman third baseman from Hilmar, California, appreciates the coaching style and ethic Zomer and his staff bring to the team. She said they place significant emphasis on the basics of the sport.
“The coaches are laid back and really nice,” Parreira said. “They want to help each person get better.”
Josie Zeutenhorst, a freshman outfielder from Sioux Center, Iowa, had a similar sentiment.
“You can tell they really care about you as a person,” Zeutenhorst said.
In the past, Iowa’s uncertain weather patterns have made planning for practices and games difficult. The Dome has made scheduling much easier, decreasing the necessity for cancellations.
While the Dome is ultimately helpful in the planning process, there are differences between playing in the facility as opposed to playing outside. Parreira has noticed that when power hitters step up to bat, they have a higher chance of hitting the ceiling. Because of this, some balls that could have been home runs are instead easy outs.
As an outfielder, Zeutenhorst can have trouble distinguishing the ball from the light ceiling color.
“I’ve had it before where I run to catch a ball, and I’m like, ‘Ope! Where did it go?’” Zeutenhorst said.
Both players still enjoy the indoor facility, especially since they no longer have to worry about weather conditions.
While Parreira and Zeutenhorst both said softball at Dordt is more strenuous than their high school experiences, they appreciate the team dynamics that come with a college softball team.
“We’re just a group of goofy girls,” Parreira said.
Dordt’s junior varsity team is set for a month-long break, with their next game, against Northwestern, scheduled for March 20.
Varsity, however, has a busy schedule, with two consecutive days of doubleheaders this weekend along with games scheduled over spring break.
Photo credit: Dordt University Athletics