Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Softball team off to a great start

Ngan Vu
The Augustana College Women’s Softball team celebrates their win on April 6, against Milikin University. This victory was the first for Augustana over Millikin in five years, while they unfortunately lost in game two.

On April 6, the softball team split two games between Millikin, which now has the team with a record of 9-7. While there have been some losses, players such as First-Year McKensey Stontz believe the season looks good.

The season is going pretty well,” Stontz said. “We all have worked hard to be the best we can be, and while not every game has gone how we’d like it to have gone, we know we can be great enough to beat anyone we face.” 

The team is now heading into conference play feeling confident in what they can do. 

“We’ve been practicing a lot, working very hard both offensively and defensively,” senior Nadia Ranieri said. “We’ve already played one conference game so far, and we split with them, but I think that we’re gonna do well this season in conference.” 

Throughout the games, the team has shown various improvements on both the defensive and offensive sides.

“This team has shown improvements every day,” Stontz said. “Our pitchers and catchers work day in and day out to perfect their craft and our defense has worked hard to be able to make not only routine outs but also the hard outs.”

Senior Morgan Bielfeldt hit a swing during the Apr. 6 game against Millikin University. (Ngan Vu)

Another important piece of the team is the coaching staff. John Nelson was named head coach of the year for coaching at Rockridge High School. He had the position since 2014 before acquiring the position of head coach at Augustana. 

“We have coaches that know so much about hitting that it’s helped us be able to produce runs each game,” Stontz said. “We’re still working on being better in each area, but we’ve done well with improving ourselves compared to where we were during fall.”

One success that the team has had is the pitching crew, which has made a major impact on the games they’ve played. 

“The pitchers have been a big strength for us,” Nelson said. “All three pitchers are looking great and have improved throughout the season.” 

One pitcher, Ranieri, was recently named co-pitcher of the week. Although it is a huge accomplishment, Ranieri said she hopes to achieve more.

“It is good to be named co-pitcher of the week,” Ranieri said. “I had five pitchers of the week last year, and I was CCIW pitcher of the year last year, so I have a goal to do that again and many wins here and there, and the pitcher of the week is gonna get me to where I want to be.” 

While the team is doing great, there are still many areas that could be improved to be able to compete at their best level.

“We have been working on our approach at the plate, and it has gotten better,” Nelson said. ”The defense has improved throughout the games we’ve played. One thing that we need to focus on is base running, which could be worked on a little more.”

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