Category Archives: Softball

Baseball and softball previews: teams begin in the sunshine state

Eagles pitcher Troy Nelson has pitched in four games for the Eagles this year (photo courtesy of unweagles.com).

by Jocelyn Moses

The Eagles’ baseball team made history this year as they began their season with one of the earliest played outdoor baseball games recoded in Minnesota’s history. The team played against rival Bethel and though they lost it was a well-played and hard fought game. Junior Braxton Lindow stated, “It was a lot of fun being able to get outside early and play a February game against Bethel. It’s not every year that we have a 65 degree day to play baseball in February, so that was fun to be a part of.”

During spring break the Eagles traveled down to Florida to participate in many games. The team competed against many other colleges from around the U.S. It provided great preparation for the season to begin. The eagles were able to play in great weather and compete against some great teams.

“A highlight of the trip was winning a fifteen inning game against Kenyon College when we came back and scored three runs with two outs in the bottom of the fifteenth inning,” commented junior Braxton Lindow.

Eagles pitcher Troy Nelson has pitched in four games for the Eagles this year (photo courtesy of unweagles.com).

Eagles pitcher Troy Nelson has pitched in four games for the Eagles this year (photo courtesy of unweagles.com).

The Eagles have lost six of their games by only one or two runs.

“Even though our record doesn’t look great on paper, we’re confident with what we have going forward,” Lindow said. “Our goal is to get better every day and reach our peak as tournament time comes.”

As the Eagles continue daily practices and work hard towards their goal of getting better, the team is growing closer and learning to work as a team. Keeping Christ at the center the Eagles baseball team is excited for what comes next this season.

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Sports complex sparks excitement

New Stadium

“These facilities will host student athletes, intramurals, physical education classes, and
the general public,” said Matt Hill, vice president for Student Life and Athletics.

by Megan Whiting

The University of Northwestern – St. Paul welcomes a new and improved sports complex to the campus this fall. Athletes and fans alike are pumped and ready to use the high quality athletic facilities.

“The complex provides three multi-purpose turf fields with lights (softball, baseball, football/soccer/lacrosse) and six tennis courts. Included in the new facility are bathrooms, concessions stands and four locker rooms. These facilities will host student athletes, intramurals, physical education classes and the general public,” said Matt Hill, vice president for Student Life and Athletics.

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Softball team staying focused despite inclement weather

by Allison Morehead

The Northwestern softball team will have to wait longer to play its first post-spring break game as the fields are far from playing condition.  So far there have been two games postponed due to the un-melted snow.

However, the snow is not letting the team’s spirit down.  Senior Kaia Larson stated, “Softball is meant to be played outside, so our team is definitely anxious to get out on the field.”
Freshman player Megan Threlkeld added, “I hope the snow won’t affect the season much longer.”

When a game is cancelled due to bad weather conditions, it is rescheduled some time later in the season.  This results in more games in a shorter period of time, which is not an ideal situation.

Despite the weather not being right for spring sports, Larson said the team is still getting its practices in.  “When games get cancelled or we spend a lot of time practicing in the gym, it can be difficult to stay focused and motivated.  Our coaches do a great job of keeping practice exciting though, so that definitely helps.  Our team just loves being together too, so that also keeps practice fun.”

The game the Eagles are most looking forward to playing this spring is against St. Scholastica—the number one team in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC).

Threlkeld explained, “We are playing them April 8 at home.  I’m excited for some good competition.”

The women are using a Bible verse as the theme for the season.  Colossians 2:2 which reads, “My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God.”
Larson explained, “Most importantly, our team wants to glorify Jesus through all that we do.We want to be a light to players, coaches, umpires and fans. We are also striving to become a strong knit team that loves and encourages one another.”

With only three seniors, the team is made up of mostly underclassman.  “I expect this to be a great season for this team, filled with a lot of learning. There are a lot of new girls on the team, so I’m excited to see how we will keep progressing throughout the season,” said Larson.

Threlkeld said, “Even though we’re young, we make a great team.” The Eagles next scheduled game is at home April 11 against Crown College at 3 p.m.

The Eagles were able to get in some games last weekend, playing indoors at the Vadnais Heights Dome.

The Eagles first matchup was against Bethany Lutheran College. They put up four runs, but struggled pitching.  They lost with a final score of 4-10.

The Eagles bats came alive as they scored 25 runs in two games. The won 14-3 against Crown College and 11-4 against University of Minnesota Morris.

The weekend would not end with a win, however, as the Eagles lost 1-8 to Martin Luther College.

Jennifer Ankrom is leading the team with a .558 batting average. She also has 22 RBIs and three homeruns.

Including Ankrom, the Eagles have six players batting over .300. Offensively, the team is starting to find its rhythm.

Weather permitting, the softball team will play April 8 at home against College of St. Scholastica.

Sports teams anticipating trips to Florida

by Ryan Wienk

The UNW athletics teams are eagerly awaiting their spring break trips. Both of the tennis teams, the baseball team and the softball team are going to be headed south to warmth. Florida is the destination this year for all of the teams. This is the first time that all three teams are going to the same place over spring break. However, there will not be a lot of time to sit on the beach because all of the teams have busy schedules of matches and games. The teams will compete against some teams that are familiar while others will be new competition.

The UNW softball team is traveling to Clermont, Fla. During the trip the team will be playing nine softball games. As a team with 11 freshmen players, the bonding time is appreciated. The time not spent practicing and playing softball games will be filled with team bonding activities.

Head softball coach Alicia du’Monceaux said, “This is the most anticipated event of the year. It is a huge time for to us to create team unity.”

The baseball team is going to be staying in Port St. Lucie, Fla. while playing all five games about 15 minutes away in Fort Pierce. The team will start out its trip, and season, with a game against Immaculata College on March 7. The following day it will have a double header playing against Susquehanna University and Delaware Valley College. The team will finish spring break with a game against Keystone College on March 12 and Westminster College on March 13.

Head baseball Coach Dave Hieb said, “I expect to win every game.” Hieb stated he has very high expectations for his baseball team this season.

Hieb said, “The nice thing about Florida is that it’s a relaxing time where we can really build a team, and we can do baseball-related activities for a week.” Hieb added, “The fields are really nice, and it’s warm.”

The tennis teams are playing in Tampa, Fla. The men’s tennis team has eight matches while in Tampa. It will have matches against schools including Regis College, John Carroll University, Wheaton College and Ave Maria University. The women’s tennis team will play many of the same schools.

Trevor Grasto, a freshman on the tennis team said, “It will be a nice break to go someplace warm and play tennis.”

FCA forming on campus

FCA is a great way for athletes to connect and grow in their faith (photo by Andy Haagenson).

FCA is a great way for athletes to connect and grow in their faith (photo by Andy Haagenson).

 by Allison Morehead

The University of Northwestern – St. Paul has officially created its own campus chapter of FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes). FCA is a nationwide organization that brings athletes together to worship and grow in their faith.

“I’m so excited for FCA to be coming to campus,” said freshman Kelsey Freitag.

FCA student leader Sara Kallhoff said, “It’s a time where student athletes can come together, talk and grow closer to the Lord through our connection of sports.”

Zach Filzen, the women’s basketball assistant coach, is working with FCA along with a student leader, Jake Knotek. Filzen and Knotek were the ones credited with the original idea of bringing FCA to UNW.

Knotek said, “He (Filzen) and I were just talking about FCA one day and realized the need and potential for it, so God put it on our hearts to go for it.  We realized that there really isn’t much unity among the Eagle athletes, and we often think we have enough spiritual fillers going on in our lives.  I know I could always use more.”

This will be the first FCA in Northwestern’s history. “I think in the past people haven’t felt a need for FCA since each sports team does their own devotionals within the team, and there are so many other ways to get involved,” explained Filzen.

Students will now have the opportunity to join a sports-related organization without the requirement of being involved in a Northwestern sport. FCA is open to anyone who is involved in a sport, or who has a love for sports.

Filzen stated, “Spread the word and come to the meeting with some friends.”

The first meeting will be held on Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m. in the Ericksen Center.  There will be games, worship, small groups and a message.  Food will be provided.

For further information, students can follow the University of Northwestern – St. Paul FCA group on Twitter at @FCA_UNW or like its Facebook page.

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