Storm takes off for Rebel Games


by Erin Guzman

The Storm softball team couldn’t find a better way to spend spring break than getting some exposure to sun and stiff competition at the Rebel Games tournament in Florida.

An early season estimate of the strength of Storm softball was shown in their pre-season trip to the Finlandia Dome Tournament in Michigan a few weeks ago. The Storm came away with a 3-3 record, but due to injuries on the pitching staff, the Storm were not able to finish as strongly as they would have liked.

Head coach Henry Christowski was very pleased with what he saw on the field, but hopes that his injured players can overcome those adversities quickly.

“The competition was very even and everyone came away with at least one loss,” Christowski said. “However, we played more games than any other team, and we stretched ourselves pretty thin. We’ve got two pitchers that are currently battling injuries, so it was difficult for us to play to our full intensity.”

Despite being shorthanded in terms of pitching, many good things happened on the field-or rather, the turf.

The Storm played their games on turf instead of dirt. Even though this presented some challenges in execution of play, the Storm had many bright moments on both the offensive and defensive ends.

Where Simpson lacked in pitching, they made up for in hits and runs. In only six games the Storm have scored 46 runs, including seven home runs, and has a collective batting average of .354.

Senior right fielder Amanda Enochs was pleased with the team’s performance in Michigan.

“Going into the tournament we knew we’d see a lot of tough, regional teams from last year, so we wanted to perform at a pretty high level,” Enochs said. “I think those games were a great learning experience for our new and returning players. Now we just have to figure out how we can improve from here.”

Junior first baseman Carissa Coopman agrees, the tournament in Michigan is only a stepping-stone for the rest of the season’s play.

“This tournament was a way for us to establish ourselves and to get a feel for different situations we may face later,” Coopman said. “We’re all learning and hoping to apply this to the rest of the season.”

The transition from gym and turf to the dirt on the field may be tough, but the Florida sun will be well received.

“We’re going to face some difficult teams in Florida,” Christowski said. “Where we saw more regional teams in Michigan, we’ll see more variety in Florida. What we’re going to need to work on the most is finishing the game in the last inning. We gave one up in Michigan, and we can’t afford to do that.”

Coopman says that communication is key to success.

“We definitely need to work on our communication skills, both on and off the field,” Coopman said. “That’s going to be incredibly important to our success. We have the talent, we just need to step up and make it happen.”

The Storm will face five teams from last year’s regional tournament at the Rebel Games, including the team that eliminated them from play, Illinois Wesleyan.

“We wanted to see how we would stack up against the tough competition, but I’m apprehensive due to the lack of pitching staff,” Christowski said. “The girls that have stepped up to fill those gaps have been doing a great job, but we need to have a strong rotation of pitchers. Once we get healthy, we’ll be able to see how we can further manipulate situations to have a good handle on the season and the IIAC.”