Baseball and Softball teams dominate spring break tourney in Florida

Silas Gilklay

Over spring break, the baseball and softball teams headed to Florida and outperformed their opponents in the spring break invite. Both teams dominated the RussMatt tourney in Florida by collecting 14 wins combined. The baseball team finished off the outing undefeated with eight consecutive wins, while the softball team finished  6-3.

The baseball team’s comeback against St. Olaf nailed their eight-game winning streak at the tournament. The softball team split the last two games on the final day of the tourney, winning against Williams College and falling to Tufts University. 

Junior Jacob Reusch expressed delight over their triumph because they accomplished their goal in the recent RussMatt tournament. 

“We went to Florida very confident, and our goal was obviously to win all of our games,” Reusch said. “We had eight games, and winning the first game really gave us so much confidence to pick up a six-game winning streak in the tournament.”

Reusch said they fielded against some similarly ranked teams they’re familiar with, as well as facing off against nationally ranked new competitors. 

“We got to play against a few different teams that we have not been able to play, and we were able to beat two of the three teams within our region,” Reusch said. “And the competition was good because we played two teams that are ranked nationally. The teams we played had a fair amount of good experience, but we just played better.”

In the women’s category, the Vikings salvaged some points in six of their nine games. On the final day of the Florida showdown, the softball team conceded to Tufts Jumbos 1-2 in the first encounter, but redeemed themselves from the deficit against Tuft to oust Williams College 8-6 in the finale.

Sophomore catcher Madison Shaw said the teamwork efforts surpassed their shortcomings in the outing because of how compacted the team is in terms of preparation. They dominated because of the morale drawn from working together as a team.

The team has been preparing for conference play since the season began,” Shaw said. “As a team, I think that everyone was really excited to go to Florida, since it has been a couple years since the team has gone down together. So far, we have been unified which has helped us on the field.” 

Shaw hopes the team will sustain its performance to cruise through the conference to the national championship. She said that retaining the team’s goals and current form can ignite them to achieve in the upcoming conference.

“After Peoria and Florida, we have all gotten more confident together and we have all been more focused and truly preparing for game day at practice,” Shaw said. “Our team goals are to continue to play how we have been and not give up during any game. We plan to fight our way to the conference tournament and hopefully beyond.”

Sophomore third-baseman Ashlyn Mathers said she sees the team’s dominance over spring break comes from organization within the team. According to Mathers, the softball team is well structured from the tacticians to the athletes, thus making them more than just a team. 

“A lot of our achievements come from teamwork and the good leadership we’ve gotten this year,” Mathers said. “We have leaders in each class and that braces us to work together and hold the team accountable. So I would describe this season as fun and uplifting.”

Augustana baseball takes on Milikin this Friday April 15 at home. The softball team will be traveling to Carthage the same day for a conference double header.