On Thursday, Feb. 18, the Red Raider softball team headed out to Kansas where they competed in two double headers.
Friday, Feb. 19, they swept Central Christian College of Kansas in both games. On Saturday, they split the two games with a win and loss each. The overall performance resulted in a 3-1 record on the weekend.
Despite the winning record, head coach Chris Nachtigall was not impressed.
“I know we’re a good team,” Nachtigall said. “We have both talent and these girls apply hard work. I feel the results showed that, but by the fourth game we became a bit worn down. We controlled what we could by focusing in. That is something I encourage our team to do, focus. Constantly I remind them to not worry, whether past or future.”
He says the biggest concern he had for the team was that they played together as a team.
“It’s easy to play individually, but we played as a group,” Nachtigall said. “It was fun to see that both on the diamond and in our dugout.”
Playing together was achieved as many players on the team contributed to the winning success. Junior midfielder Jessica Rayela and sophomore pitcher Kayla Tindall both hit home runs. The excitement didn’t stop there as sophomore pitcher/in-fielder Dana Hedlund built on their momentum by hitting a grand slam. Junior outfielder Jaclyn Smith stepped up to the plate and scored an in-field home run.
Sadly, the team will be without Jessica Sandbulte. She was diagnosed with a season-ending knee injury. The team is currently trying to fill her position at third base. Playing without her will be difficult to overcome, but the Red Raiders are hoping the chemistry the team already has will uplift them in this difficult moment of their season just beginning.
“[The chemistry] is the best since my arrival three years ago,” junior catcher Monserrat Figueroa said. “We have set high expectations; even with our one loss and loss of a teammate we must focus. Like coach says, we know how capable we are of performing. We must not let our future or past interfere with that.”
The Red Raiders are currently under preparation for the upcoming Friends Tournament, which will also in Wichita, Kan., on March 5.