Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Softball strives for success


Augustana softball has kicked off their season, playing 10 games in Florida during spring break and two more against UW-Platteville in a dome-doubleheader in Loves Park, Illinois. They won eight out of the ten Florida games, bringing their record so far this season to 9-3.
This fast start is a great sign for the team, who are looking to improve upon their 22-16 record from last season, on top of going 7-9 in conference.
Leading the team is seven seniors, including pitcher Kelcie Fredrickson and catcher Marissa Catalano. Catalano talked about the takeaways from their success in Florida.
Obviously going 8-2 was a huge plus, but an even bigger one was being able to get on dirt and put together what we’ve been practicing,” Catalano said. “We were able to see different situations, move people around, sub people in, and see where our pitching staff is at. A major positive was the freshmen class stepping up and filling some roles needed on varsity both pitching wise and offensively.”
Even with the success, Catalano was clear that there still is room to improve.
“The games we did lose were winnable games and we just fell flat,” Catalano said. “Moving forward, we have to keep in mind fourteen innings, two games, is the goal, not seven innings or one game. We want two wins each day, no more splits.”
Both seniors made it apparent that this year’s freshman look to be special and are going to play a role in the team’s success this year. Referring back to last season, the improvements Fredrickson wanted to see echoed Catalano’s negative takeaways from the Florida trip.
We almost never showed up for both games. The first game was almost a ‘warm-up.’ We need to play ball for all six hours, competing for all six hours,” Fredrickson said.
Fredrickson also talked about how the seniors plan on getting the underclassmen to buy in to this mentality.
“Among the seniors, we want to take control, set a good example and lead by example. We want to make sure the other underclassmen see the effort we are putting in everyday. And on top of our head coach, we want to be coaches for our own individual positions,” Fredrickson said.
These improvements, mental and physical, begin in practice and Catalano talked about the team’s focus in these practices preparing for upcoming conference games.
“The main things being worked on in practice is situations both defensively and offensively. Working on having different counts and different goals at bat. On the other end, pitchers and catchers working on what pitches to call at what locations for certain types of hitters,” Catalano said. “Moving into conference, our goal is to be sharp and confident. Making those split decision calls more of a habit and just keeping the cohesiveness increasing.”
The team is feeling good about the upcoming games, ready for the weather to allow them to display all the things they are working on. Four games this season have been canceled due to weather, but it’s only making them hungrier.
Weather permitting, catch the girls take on Dubuque and Illinois College in back to back doubleheaders on Saturday, March 23 and Sunday, March 24. Both games are home at Carver Field.
Featured image: Augustana senior catcher Marissa Catalano practices her catching at Augustana softball practice on Sunday, Mar. 17.

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Softball strives for success