While many students were taking it easy over Spring Break, the CSB Softball team traveled to Florida, adding one win after the other to its impressive seven-game winning streak.
With an early season record of 11-2, the team is off to a strong start. Even the two defeats are nothing to be ashamed of, losing by a single run in both cases, the second of which came in extra innings.
“Our losses came in the first two days, then we decided we lost two, that’s enough,” senior catcher Sarah Walch said.
With the advantage of practicing in the St. Cloud dome before the trip, the team is already comfortable playing on the turf, a completely different surface to play on than the dirt of the normal diamond.
“Playing softball indoors is not ideal, but is something that we are very used to,” sophomore pitcher Emily Engelmeier said.
Individually, the Blazers also heated up in Florida.
Engelmeier dominated opponents, going 5-0 during the trip while striking out 26 batters and only allowing two runs throughout the week. At one point she had a 20 inning scoreless streak, helping her earn MIAC Pitcher of the Week.
Fellow sophomore Kim Lidstone, the Blazer’s starting shortstop, led the team in batting with an average of .405 and 15 runs scored. She also stole seven bases on seven attempts, helping the Blazers swipe 25 bases on 27 attempts.
The team refuses to let its winning streak be a distraction.
Senior captain Lexi Alm described the biggest challenge for the team as the mental side.
“The only obstacle that could get in the way of our success this season is our mental game,” Alm said.
The team hopes to take it just one game at a time, focusing on playing its game, not keeping a winning streak alive.
“We need to remember to have fun and play with lots of energy because that is when we play our best softball,” Engelmeier said.
Not only does the practice on the turf help, but so does the chemistry.
After a season last year where the team had no seniors the team looks much the same with the addition of three new players.
The team bonding has played a role in being successful because whether on the field or not, everyone was there to pick others up.
“We know that not everyone is going to have a perfect game every game. We are ready to pull for each other those days and limit our back-to-back errors,” Alm said.
The early success in the season is giving more hope for the players to reach their ultimate goal, Walch said.
“The past years our goal was to be in the top four of MIAC, but this year we are a championship team.”
The Blazers will play their final series before conference play gets underway as they will play a doubleheader against the University of Minnnesota Morris at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 21 at the SCSU Husky Dome.