Girls softball dominating early

Zach Kuehn, Staff Writer

The girls softball team took on Wheeling Wildcats at home on Monday, April 13. This conference contest was a tune-up for Fremd, as they prepare for upcoming games in the MSL West division against Schaumburg and Hoffman Estates. The Vikings rode a dominating offensive performance to down the Wildcats 26-4 in five innings.

The Vikings exploded for ten runs in the first inning, with some big hits from sophomore Holly Straup and junior Alyssa Garcia, including a base clearing double. Head coach Jim Weaver is pleased with his teams outing, as he identifies the defense as the main reason for the teams success as of late.

“I thought considering the circumstances they played really well,” Weaver said. “The defense was better in spots, it needs to get better but I think that was a good sign.”

In a blowout game, tension can arise quickly and harsh words can be said. For this game, Weaver is proud of team as they handle this type of win with class.

“I think the thing I was most proud of was the way they handled the situation with class,” Weaver said. “The other coach actually commented our girls on how classy they were in that situation because they can get pretty ugly pretty quick, so our kids handled it well.”

The Fremd offense was firing on all cylinders as big plays from players such as junior Kylie Hess, who ended the game with two RBIs. Hess thinks the Vikings played a very effective game.

“We did our job on defense,” Hess said. “We know how to stay classy when we play. We want to be respected by other schools.”

Throughout the game, the Vikings pitching staff held the Wildcats to only four runs and pitched consistently. With a mix of stranding runners and key strikeouts, the Vikings pitching staff had a good outing. Senior Lea Barrett only pitched one inning, but struck out a batter in the scoreless inning. Even though the staff pitched well in this game, Weaver still thinks the team can pitch better.

“[The pitching was] inconsistent,” Weaver said. “At times really good at executing what we’re trying to get done with our pitching plan and executing pitches, but at times we’ve left too many balls over the plate and gotten behind in counts.”

The season has been a good one so far for the Vikings, who have a 10-1 record as of April 13, and many players have been contributing on offense and defense. The real challenge is coming though, as conference games begin in a few games.

“They’re off to a good start, they’ve played a good schedule and we’re 10-1 right now so we know that our conference is tough, so we’ll be challenged the rest of the way trying to get ready for the playoffs,” Weaver said. “But we’re off to a good start, and they’re a really good group, a lot of fun people, so really enjoying this year so far.”

This game hasn’t been the only fast start for the Vikings this season, as they have used starts like this one to win other games this season. Senior Katie Niersbach thinks that in addition to scoring early and keeping their energy up, the team is improving.

“[The season] has been very good-we get better each game,” Niersbach said.

For the Vikings, a lot of players have been contributing on both sides of the field, as it has been a team effort from the start. The team is off to the races, and the way they’re playing on the field can lead to good things to come during their stretch run.

The team has been playing consistently well, but they have another level to their game that they can bring to the table to look even better. Weaver is happy with the way his team’s playing but he knows they can be better for the stretch run.

“I think just general situational knowledge and the biggest thing is to be able to work for is understanding situational defense and being mentally tough,” Weaver said. “Just playing each pitch and each play as it comes rather than trying to think too far ahead.”