Storm softball dedicated, optimistic

Despite differing views on a rough start to their season, the Storm softball team is similar in one respect. They all have hope for a successful end of the season.

The team has started the season with a 21-9 overall record.

“I am pretty sure you could always be happier with more wins,” coach Henry Christowski said. “We have run into a snag the last three games, but if we keep practicing, things will turn around.”

The team has only played two conference doubleheaders. The Storm defeated Dubuque twice, but lost to Wartburg in both games, leaving the team with a 2-2 conference record.

“Our biggest strength is the overall attitude and work ethic on the team,” Christowski said. “They have taken to heart the strength and conditioning. They have that work ethic on the field and it’s really going to pay dividends for them.”

Junior left fielder Kelsie Host said the team is where it needs to be this early in the season.

“We have pulled through on some really tough games,” Host said. “Our team chemistry this year is really good. When we are under a lot of pressure, we pull through.”

The team has come back to win in the seventh inning of several of their last games.

“Everyone wants to be here,” Host said. “Everyone has worked so hard in strength and conditioning, so, it’s a lot more personal when we lose or do bad.”

Host finished the 2008 season with the honors of first team All-American, first team All-Conference and first team All-Region.

Junior pitcher Whitney Oviatt said the team had a really strong start and knows how to come back in the seventh inning.

“We need to learn to get ahead and stay ahead,” Oviatt said. “Once we eliminate that one bad inning, we’ll be good.”

Oviatt has started 22 of 30 total games. She has struck out 141 batters and earned herself athlete of the week in March.

“We look forward to playing tough competition, considering we have a tough conference,” Oviatt said.

Christowski said the team’s biggest question mark is hitting. Yet the team has only struck out 102 of 798 times at bat.

“We play well defensively,” Christowski said. “The second thing is to score a run, which is what we are trying to work on.”

Host said the team’s main problem is stringing hits together.

“We need to get hits when we need hits,” Host said. “We need everyone to hit well, not just one.”

The Storm has committed only 38 errors out of 965 chances.

Christowski said the team definitely has a high defensive performance. The Storm allows an average of 1.3 runs per game.

The Storm will host the first round of the regional tournament and the team hopes to make it to that point and play at home the first round.

“We are attempting to win enough games to play in post-play,” Christowski said. “First is trying to get somewhere and second is doing something once we get there.”

Freshman infielder Carissa Coopman, said the team has a love for the game and passion and it shows when they play.

“We work one game at a time, but our ultimate goal is making it to Nationals,” Coopman said.

The Storm’s next game will be away at Central College on Saturday, April 14 at 4 p.m.