The softball team has its first matchup of the fall season this weekend when they play a double-header against St. Catherine at home on its new field.
Head Coach Kara Amundson has been preparing the Racers for the new season and said she could not be more excited to see how the fall season takes place.
“We’ve only been going at it for about two and a half weeks, but what I have seen so far that excites me is a lot of different players that can contribute in a lot of different ways,” Amundson said. “There are a lot of returners and new players who are bringing a lot of really good things to the table right now, so I’m excited to see what they do this weekend.”
In preparation for the season, Amundson said the team is working hard in practice.
“Getting out there and practicing and working on some different fundamental stuff this past week, we finally were able to put some key defensive plays in and just trying to get a lot of hitting drills done,” she said.
The Racers will have a tough start to their season, considering the first competition of the 2013 season is a doubleheader.
Amundson said playing doubleheaders is tough for everyone involved.
“I think the toughest thing for a player is making sure they stay focused the whole entire time,” Amundson said.
She said softball games usually last anywhere from an hour and a half to two hours. The team is usually at the field about two hours before the game to warm up.
So, the team can be outside for as many as four or five hours, and Amundson said staying focused the whole time is difficult for the team.
She said it is easy to lose focus because these games do not really count against the record.
“It’s our job to kind of keep them in the game,” Amundson said. “I think the fall season is much different because all of these games are just exhibitions.”
Despite the long hours in the dirt, Amundson said she and the team could not be more excited to be starting its new season on its new field.
“It’s incredible,” Amundson said. “Our weight room and our coaches’ offices are all right here, so being able to just walk upstairs and see a first-class facility that’s ours and something we can take pride and ownership in is pretty awesome.”
Amundson said the atmosphere will be different this year just because of the location of the field.
“If you asked a lot of the regular student body where the softball field was last year they’d have no idea,” Amundson said. “It’s visible, so we’re pretty excited to get some new people stopping by a couple of our innings and seeing what kind of fan base we can get out there.”
The team will take to Racer Field for its doubleheader at 1 p.m. Sunday.
Story by Taylor Crum, Assistant Sports Editor