Softball and baseball strive to improve each day

Softball and baseball strive to improve each day

As the softball and baseball teams near the end of conference play, they are both working to find consistency and to reach their potential by the end of the season.

Head Softball Coach Henry Christowski says his team is still working to find a steady line-up.

“It’s been more just trying to find who belongs where,” Christowski said. “We’ve been switching a lot of players around and are trying to figure out who’s going to take over those spots. We’re trying to establish a stable line-up or one that’s going to be a little more consistent each time.”

Although the team has had their ups and downs, Christowski is pleased with the girls’ determination.

“We aren’t having any of those big breakdowns,” Christowski said. “It has been a team effort because somebody else has stepped up to the plate and done their job well enough to put us in the win column.”

Junior Carlye Owens thinks this integrity will help them finish in the top of the Iowa Conference.

“We all believe that we can take this team farther than in the past, and I think we can push for first or second,” Owens said. “What is going well for our team is the way we have persevered throughout our games lately. I believe our team is just never satisfied.”

This was evident after the team was swept by Wartburg but came right back to take two games, each going into extra innings, from Luther.

“The best part about Luther was winning both games,” senior Calie Hohneke said. “Knowing that we can come from behind to win a game is a big deal.”

According to freshman Taylor Finch, games are going well and the Storm has been sharpening their skills in practice.

“The team has been working on hitting a lot, as always, and trying to figure out what is going to help us be the best,” Finch said. “There has been a lot of ‘fine-tuning’ and working on the little things.”

Freshman Allie Hock says they’re working on talking and staying upbeat, which will factor into their post-season advancement.

“Specifically, we have been working on improving our communication on the field and our offense,” Hock said. “I think that we are in a great position to win conference right now. We have played in some close games and responded to the pressure positively, so in the future hopefully we can do the same thing.”

The softball team plays Buena Vista at home on Saturday, April 19, at 2 p.m.

Head Baseball Coach Ben Blake says the baseball team’s main focus is the execution on offense.

“I think we’re playing pretty good defense and we’re getting solid pitching, but our offense has been a little slow at times,” Blake said. “We’ve been working pretty hard at our approach to the plate, getting good pitches to hit, execution as far as getting bunts down, hit and run, that type of thing.”

The team has also been working hard in practice to find consistent play.

“Consistency is definitely one thing that we need to improve on,” senior Shane Akers said. “Our pitching and hitting have both been very good, but not always at the same time. We just need to put everything together.”

Blake says the team just needs to continue playing hard and eventually things will click.

“Obviously we’ve been struggling a lot on offense and we just have to kind of grind through this point until we hit stride and start swinging a little better,” Blake said.

Senior Brady Buresh agrees that they haven’t been consistently playing like they are able.

“I still don’t think we have seen our true potential quite yet,” Buresh said. “I think that if we show up every day ready to play like we are capable, there isn’t a team in the conference that we can’t beat.”

Akers also thinks the post-season play will be exciting since they are still improving.

“We have lost some games that we shouldn’t have, but we are continuing to get better,” Akers said. “I think we have the potential to finish in the top couple of the conference if not winning it. We are improving as the season goes on, so it will be interesting to see how we end up.”

The baseball team takes on Coe College tomorrow, April 18, at 3 p.m. in Cedar Rapids.