Storm rolls as sophomore Potratz claims two records

by Ben Lucas

Simpson softball proved it can play hard away from home by going 10-4 in the Rebel Spring Games in Florida over spring break.

Simpson is currently .650 with a 13-7 record halfway through the season, though conference games do not begin until April. The Storm made their way down to Kissimmee, Fla. and faced a variety of nation-wide opponents.

Head Softball coach Henry Christowski said he was especially proud of the mindset the Storm had going into the competition.

“The over-all attitude and work ethic of the squad from the everyday starter to the reserve coming in off the bench has been terrific,” Christowski said. “The number of different individuals who contributed to our performance this past week was inspiring to the coaching staff. They never gave up and were never out of a game until the last out was recorded.”

Tieryn Potratz set two home run records March 15. The first was for single game home runs, when she knocked three out of the park and had six RBIs during Simpson’s 15-1 win over Rutgers-Camden. Potratz also set the new season high for homeruns at 10 only halfway through the season.

Christowski said that the team’s morale remained high because of performances like Potratz’s and support from faithful fans who made the trip with them.

“It was very inspiring to the team as a whole to see Tieryn Potratz set a new career and individual season record for home runs while we were there,” Christowski said. “The fact that we had close to 50 family members and friends make the trip to cheer on the Storm was a very inspiring thing for the team and the coaching staff.”

Simpson faced a setback on Wednesday against No. 22 Illinois Wesleyan and St. Norbert followed by a 5-4 loss to Ramapo on Friday, which shifted its record from 7-1 to 7-4. This was turned around with a strong 7-3 finish in the Storm’s second game on Friday against Milikin and its victory over St. Benedict and Hood on the last day of competition.

“The biggest challenge we had to face was probably getting some come-from-behind or walk-off 7th inning hits,” junior Carissa Coopman said. “All of our losses were by one run and so it was huge for us to pull off a couple of one-run wins with key plays (and) hits when we really needed them.”

Christowski said there is still work to be done to get everyone comfortable, but the team is steadily improving and this trip is proof of its growth.

“With only two players from last year’s squad playing in the same varsity spot they did last year, a number of players are learning to play at a new position,” Christowski said. “But we get better every day.”