Softball team begins preseason with high goals

Softball team begins preseason with high goals

by Gabe GilsonStaff Writer

The Storm softball team has been preparing for their season for a few weeks and it is finally tournament time. Preseason tournament that is.

This weekend, the Storm will play six games in Marquette, Mich., at the Finlandia Dome Tournament in the Superior Dome. All the games will be played inside the 14-story wooden dome where the Olympic wrestling, boxing and weight lifting teams practice and many other events are held.

As far as the team goes, Coach Henry Christowski is very optimistic with the players he has on his team.

“The competition is really tough right now,” Christowski said. “We have a lot of depth. We have some freshmen right now that could make a push as the time progresses.”

The team only features one senior this year in first baseman Carlye Owens. Owens finds being the lone senior rather refreshng.

“It’s actually a comforting feeling,” Owens said. “It gives the program hope that the experience everyone else gains will help in the future.”

As the senior leader, Owens hopes the team can build off the success they had last year as they went 29-12 (13-3 IIAC) and qualified for Regionals but did not make Nationals.

“We have huge expectations for this year,” Owens said. “We expect to be successful not only at the beginning, but also in the postseason. Regionals last season gave us a taste, but we want to be successful again.”

While the Storm may only have one senior, they do return a first team All-American in junior outfielder Kelsie Host. Last year Host broke the school record for most triples in a season with 11. This year, she has high expectations for herself and for the team.

“I have less goals this year because I just want to stay level-headed,” Host said. “The ultimate goal is making nationals, but I want to at least make it to Regionals. We have a really good chance.”

The team also returns junior pitcher Whitney Oviatt, who was a third team All-American last year after going 13-5 with a 1.47 ERA in 100.1 innings pitched.

Coach Christowski is also looking at sophomore catcher Allie Hock and junior outfielder Kelsey Castenson to do well this season for the Storm. Christowski has high expectations for his team when considering the depth of the conference.

“If you look at what’s going on in the conference, we should be among the top three” Christowski said. “The way our conference is, it’s a dog fight every day we go out.”

The Storm will travel to two more tournaments before the regular season starts, including a trip to Kissimmee, Fla. over spring break for the Rebel Spring Games and a trip to St. Louis, Mo. a week later for the Marriott West Tournament.

The first home game of the year for the Storm will be on March 25 as they take on Nebraska Wesleyan in a doubleheader. After the first three tournaments, the Storm will have four home doubleheaders and five away doubleheaders up until the IIAC tournament, which will be April 30-May 2.