Softball: Showing strength in the IIAC


by Gabe Gilson/Staff Writer

The Simpson softball team is already well into their season and thus far, they have found success on the diamond. Through April 11, the team is 17-6 (6-0 IIAC) and has been leading the conference.

Much of the success for the softball team is due to senior pitcher Whitney Oviatt of Carnation, Wash. In 12 appearances, Oviatt has posted an 8-4 record and a 1.84 earned run average. In 77 innings pitched, Oviatt also has 68 strikeouts. Oviatt has been happy with the season but is still excited with how the rest of the year will turn out.

“We could have started out better but we are early in the conference season so we don’t know how it will turn out,” Oviatt said.

Coach Henry Christowski is in his 15th season at the helm for the Storm. Christowski knows that the season is still young and there are many important conference games ahead for the team. This has been the message when addressing the team.

“Basically we don’t get into too much as where the other teams are at, just the importance of each game,” Christowski said. “We feel pretty good about our chances but feeling good and doing good are two completely different things.”

Another senior on the team, outfielder Kelsey Castenson from Harcourt, has been very pleased with the leadership on the team. Even though there are five seniors who start, Castenson considers everyone on the team to be a leader.

“I feel that leadership has been very good from the seniors and at the same time everyone is kind of a leader on this team,” Castenson said. “There is no ‘seniority rules’ mentality. Everyone speaks in the huddles and everyone is always cheering each other on.”

Other members of the Storm softball team who have had impressive seasons are junior catcher Allie Hock of Lawrence, Kan., and sophomore shortstop Keri Sorensen from Bettendorf. Both Hock and Sorensen are leading the team with .439 hitting. These two along with freshman infielder-outfielder Tieryn Potratz of Fort Dodge and sophomore outfielder Veronica Roshek of Urbandale all have on base percentages of over .400.

“Hock again has really proved to be a pleasant surprise,” Christowski said. “She hit well last year but the percentages weren’t as good but she’s a steady performer behind the plate and has been great.”

The rest of the season features many conference double-headers for the Storm and one out of conference double-header against Grinnell. The IIAC Conference Tournament will be held May 6-8 and the location is still yet to be determined depending on who is the No. 1 seed.

Depending on how the conference tournament goes as well as how many points the Storm have going into regional’s will determine if they will make the regional tournament or not.

When it comes down to the five seniors last go-around, they have lofty goals on what they want to accomplish.

“I have high expectations and I hope to see us place first in the conference, go on to regional’s and hopefully that takes us somewhere,” Castenson said. “This is the year to do it.”