Softball gets a grip


Caleb Geer

Simpson softball looks to break in the new turf before their upcoming season.

by Noah Harkness, Staff Reporter

Installation of new turf on the Simpson’s softball field started at the beginning of the fall season, but it wasn’t completed until after the season had wrapped up in early Oct., leaving the softball team unable to practice at the softball complex during the installation of the new turf. But the new turf comes with a whole new world for the team.

Abby Meyer, a sophomore on the softball team, has had the opportunity to play on the field before and after the turf had been placed. 

“It’s really nice and looks really good. It’s nice to have the turf instead of the dirt because we don’t have to drag,” Meyer said. “It makes the process a lot quicker.”

Meyer said it’s nice to have the new turf before the season starts and also before winter.

“If it hadn’t been done before snow hits the ground, our first time playing on it would be our first home game,” she said. “A lot of the time, we start playing games before we start practicing outside. Now that we have the turf, hopefully, that means we can get outside sooner.”

Official softball practices begin after Christmas break as they prepare for the new season in February. Meyer said the team is able to do more now, having both fields available for practice.

Maddie Luderman, a senior on the softball team, said the team has been doing open fields for a couple of weeks now.

“My fellow seniors and I will get a practice plan together. A lot of ground balls, a lot of repetition. When we get grounders, how’s the ball going to react and how it’s going to bounce differently than when we’re out on the dirt,” she said.

The team looks to put the work in to make the full adjustment to the new playing surface.

“Having the turf and the practice field, you have a lot more stations. We also have the turf that we put down outside of the field,” Meyer said. “We haven’t gotten out there for a lot of practice, but maintenance is a lot easier.”

Luderman also said the team has been lifting four times a week with practices in the coming weeks.

“What’s different about this year is that we’re actually going to Panama so we get more practices, per NCAA,” Luderman said. “We get about nine more practices and those are going to rev up here next week. They’re going to be more intense than senior-led.”

They start indoor practice in January, five days a week, from 5:30  to 7 a.m. Luderman said the team starts conference play after their spring break trip to Florida.

“Our fall season is mostly getting to know your teammates, getting to know the coach. Spring is the majority of our season. We start the second week back on campus and go through May term,” she said.

The softball team will continue their preseason as they prepare for games in Texas in February.