The Prairie Fire baseball and softball teams had a great string of games over spring break in Florida. The women played in the Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic tournament in southern Florida from March 14 through March 18. The men played in the Russ Matt Central Florida Invitational. Overall, the men went 1-6 overall at their tournament and the women went 3-5 overall at their tournament. The teams are striving towards their own individual team goals after previewing in Florida.
Senior Andrew Recker says the team’s goals include making it into the conference tournament and playing well against Monmouth in both appearances. His individual goals are a little different.
“My individual goal this year is to just enjoy my senior year,” Recker said. “Everybody has to hang up the cleats at some point and I just don’t want to have any regrets when I do.”
Junior Kobe Shutter expanded on the team goals.
“Our team goals include winning the Midwest Conference Tournament, win the South, beat Monmouth and protect home field,” Shutter said.
Overall, the trip was positive for both teams. The freshmen on both sides stepped up and did well for their respective teams.
“The trip was fun, the weather was great, and we got to see a lot of good baseball teams and some good pitching as well,” Recker said. “The freshmen in my opinion have stepped up and done their job well. They came out with intensity and just really seemed to enjoy being there and doing what they can to help the team win.”
Similarly, sophomore Cammie Stein confirmed the feelings of the baseball team.
“It felt amazing to finally step out onto the dirt as a team. We saw a lot of improvement during preseason, but to watch our hard work come to fruition on the field meant a lot to me,” Stein said.
Shutter said the team took it game by game, and although their record wasn’t what they may have wanted, they fought in every matchup.
“Even though we lost, our team really battled to the very end for our final game against Albright College,” Shutter said. “We lost 2-1 in 15 innings, and we competed every single inning. I loved seeing the fight our team had, and hopefully that will continue over to conference games when we need it most.”
Both teams are looking forward to the remaining seasons and will be taking it one game at a time. The men play against Augustana College on April 4 away and the women play April 6 in a doubleheader at home against St. Norbert College.