Softball ready to shine in Florida

Softball ready to shine in Florida

by Matt Bower

Spring break is almost upon us; it’s just around the corner.This means that students will be packing suitcases and making finalpreparations for trips off campus, whether they are headed home orto a more exotic location such as sunny Cancun.

The softball team is headed south for spring break but Cancun isnot the destination. Instead, the Storm is headed for Florida wherethey will get back into the swing of things.

The team faces a 14 game schedule, consisting of two games a daywhich range from an afternoon game followed by an evening game anda morning game followed by an afternoon game. This staggeredscheduling gives the team some breaks which allows them to rest upand focus on the next game in the schedule. The women will face awide variety of teams from around the country including Illinois,Pennsylvania, Ohio and New Jersey, among others.

“Playing in Florida is good preparation for the season,” saidsenior Michelle Montgomery. “The competition is pretty high downthere.”

Sophomore Heather Beeler agrees with Montgomery.

“We see a lot of teams in Florida that we could see later inregionals and nationals,” said Beeler.

Despite the stiff competition, head coach Henry Christowskiremains confident.

“We have been very successful in Florida,” said Christowski. “Wewere undefeated last year. That’s not always the norm but if we cancome home with eight out of 10 wins, we’ll be in good shape.”

According to Christowski, the team’s strengths lie with defenseand hitting.

“Defensively, we are pretty strong,” said Christowski. “We aredeep at most positions.”

He said that inexperience will play a role in the young pitchingstaff and that as of right now it is in question who will start onthe mound for the Storm.

“The one area we need to work on is speed,” said Christowski.The team will use the games and playing time in Florida aspreparation for the season ahead. Christowski said that althoughthe team has been able practice in the gym, it has limited thecapabilities of what they can do.

“We need some type of legitimate practice,” said Christowski.”The gym only provides limited space and facilities and when youhave 32 girls plus coaches and other obstacles it quickly becomescrowded and limits what we can do.”

The players view the trip to Florida as an advantage for theteam.

“It’s a good way to warm up and gets everyone playing together,”said Montgomery.

Beeler explains why it is important for freshmen as well asupperclassmen.

“The trip provides a great opportunity for the team to bond andget to know each other,” said Beeler.

Twenty-two of the 32 players on the team were chosen to go.

“The choices were based on the fall workout performance and whatwill be best for the overall strength of the team,” saidChristowski. “You could have 20 pitchers of equal caliber, but thatwould not be a winning team.”

Christowski says the trip will allow the coaching staff to seewhat positions need to be filled and where the team’s strengths andweaknesses lie. He adds that the selections don’t mean anything inthe long run and that players will still have to work hard fortheir spots on the team.