Baseball and Softball open season at home

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First baseman Natalie Stockman (‘18) gets an out.

First baseman Natalie Stockman (‘18) gets an out.

Katrina Meyer (‘19) / Chips

Katrina Meyer (‘19) / Chips

First baseman Natalie Stockman (‘18) gets an out.

Nora Felt, Staff Writer

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  The women’s softball team and the men’s baseball team both returned from  spring break to play home openers this past week.

On March 28, the Norse women won their home series against Saint Mary’s. The first game in the new Betty Hoff Stadium was a celebratory occasion. Aside from the joy of winning, Pitcher Annie Versnick (‘17) said the atmosphere made the game memorable.

“The introductions [were special], seeing all the fans come out,” Versnick said. “I turned to someone and said: ‘look at how beautiful our stadium is, playing in March in 60 degrees, it does not get better than this.’”

Coming off of a spring break trip to Florida, the Norse women gained experience with adversity. They lost their first two games in Florida, but responded by winning the rest of their games.

“We didn’t sulk and feel sorry for ourselves,” Kaeli Kovarick (‘18) said,  “We learned from our mistakes and it made us a better team.”

That spirit showed in the opener: despite St. Mary scoring two home runs in the first inning, putting the Norse down 2-0, the Norse were able to bounce back.

“We knew we had the ability to score the runs and win,” Kovarick said. “It was fun to see the offense come to life. It didn’t seem like anyone really struggled, everyone just learned from everyone else. Offensively and defensively we played really well; outs being thrown from the knee, dive plays — it was awesome.”

The Norse women won the home series 10-2 and 10-4.

Katrina Meyer (‘19) / Chips
Cody Reimer (‘17) pitches.

On March 31, baseball lost their first game against Coe College, 4-2. Despite the initial loss, the Norse responded on Saturday winning both games, 5-4 and 3-1 and winning the series overall. The first game was tied 4-4 at the end of the ninth, but the Norse pulled through, winning in the 11th inning with a run scored by Jake Vogt (‘19) on a balk.

The Norse men spent spring break in Arizona and played nine games in seven days. Their focus was on playing a more consistent game.

“We keep level heads, never too high of highs or too low of lows,” Ben Voss (‘17) said. “We are hitting well, pitching well, and fielding well, it is just putting all that together consistently.”

Senior Jon Opdahl (‘17) also commented on consistency and is excited about the Norse’s potential.

“Our drive to win is there,” Opdahl said. “Our motivation is high, we just need to put the pieces together. What we really need to improve on is hitting, to get timely hits, and make our opportunities count.”

Both teams have their next games at home. The Norse men play on Tuesday, April 4 against Coe College, and the Norse women play Wednesday, April 5 against UW- La Crosse.

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