Snow continues to fall as the calendar flips and we enter March. Despite the frigid temperatures, however, the College of Saint Benedict softball team is starting their season and will do so with one major difference that they have not had in over 26 years: the Blazers have a new manager at the helm and her name is Rachael Click.
Click is a 2009 graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College where she excelled not only in the classroom as an elementary education major but also on the softball field where she posted record setting numbers and received numerous awards including All-MIAC shortstop each of her four years, All-MIAC Rookie of the Year, All-MIAC Player of the Year, and NCAA All-American shortstop. While at Gustavus, Click broke five single-season records and five career records that she still holds to this day.
“There’s no doubt that my playing career has helped me in my coaching career. I relate everything I do in coaching to how I played,” Click said. “There are so many situations and drills in softball that are really hard to explain but I can show them how to do things the right way and it makes it easier to understand for all of the players. It provides a special dynamic.”
She also acknowledges the other coaches she has played or worked for as influences on her coaching style.
“I have been able to pick and choose what I like and what I don’t like about every coach I encounter and that makes me a better coach in every way,” Click said.
Click also maintains the idea that softball is an ever-changing sport because of new rules or technology in bats that influence the game and how it is played and says that she has to evolve with the game.
“She is really passionate about the sport and very competitive,” junior centerfielder Lexi Alm said. “She also has a lot of good ideas that keeps each day fun and keeps us engaged.”
On a young team without any seniors, Click will look to juniors Alm and Rachel Nelson to lead the team this year. Both players were given All-conference honors last season.
“We are young and it won’t be easy but I know that we can do it and I think the women on the team know that we can do it,” Click said. “Every Blazer on this team wants to play in that last week of May and we are going to work hard to get there.”
The Blazers were able to see how difficult of a road they have ahead when they played a doubleheader last weekend against last year’s WIAC champions, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and dropped both games. The first game of the doubleheader played at a neutral site in Rosemount, Minn. was a 8-0 loss, followed by a 8-4 loss later on.
“The key is to not look at the end result and focus on what we did right and what we did wrong then we can fix it,” Click said. “We just need to get to playing good softball and I think we will be winning more games than not.”