The first big storm of spring washed away the rest of the weekend-long softball tournament that was slotted for this past weekend.
The Prairie Fire softball team was able to get their doubleheader in last Friday but the tournament did not continue due to weather, though it was set to continue on Saturday and Sunday.
However, the team will continue the spring grind. Their schedule, containing a game just about every weekend this term, will have them on the road this weekend at the Midwest Conference (MWC) crossover tournament. They will be well rested after having a fairly light load last weekend and are looking to recover from a couple tough games against Oakland City University last Friday.
Oakland City came out on top both games, winning 14-4 and 13-6 and dropping the Prairie Fire to 5-8 on the season. Fire head coach Ashley Sims said that the team “showed really good spots. We have innings where we do well hitting and we have good stands defensively.”
Overall, the theme was that the team lacked consistency. With four seniors on the team — Cassie Milleville, Cheyenne Cortez, Cory Bieber and Regina Cloyd — this is something that will only get better through their leadership.
“We came out and scored the first points. But we have to continue to keep hitting,” said Cloyd, who has a fielding percentage of 1.000 and no errors on the year. Other than consistency, she explained, “We need to stop them from hitting gaps and we need to hit to the gaps.”
The Fire will have a chance to try to work on these issues this weekend against some pretty stiff competition. The MWC Softball Classic will be the first whack at conference for the ladies, who will play back-to-back-to-back on Saturday. The first two games will be against top five teams in the conference, St. Norbert and Ripon. They will then finish the day with a less potent but still valid opponent in Beloit College. They will finish the weekend with Carroll and Lawrence on Sunday.
The Prairie Fire are sitting in third place in the South Division with a record of 5-8. They are expecting big things from freshman Brittany Wisniewski, who is leading the team in RBIs and was named the Prairie Fire Performer of the week for the week of March 30.
Sims excitedly announced that she is “looking forward to every game” and that “they are going out to win every time.” This weekend will be another opportunity to do just that.
The tournament will be in Janesville, Wis. and play will start at 11 a.m. on Saturday. If you are interested in heading up and showing some purple and gold pride, more details are available about the tournament on the Midwest Conference Web site.
The Fire’s next home game will be the doubleheader against Robert Morris on April 13. The team will face rivals Monmouth College on April 16.
As for this weekend, hopefully the only rain will be purple reign.