William Jewell College’s Softball team is off to a slow start, but they still remain optimistic about the future. The Cardinals faced tough competition the past two weekends at the Lewis Dome Invitational and Drury Invitational Tournaments.
After three losses the first weekend, Jewell battled back against Wisconsin Parkside for a 6-5 win. The Cardinals were down early in the Parkside game, but senior Allison Rawls helped the team make a comeback. Rawls – who is dedicating her senior season to her dad who recently lost his battle with cancer – hit the first grand slam of her collegiate career, putting the Cardinals in a position to win the game. The following weekend at Drury ended 0-4, leaving the Cardinals with an overall record of 1-7.
There are many factors that affected the team’s record. Because COVID-19 limited their season, this was their first time seeing live at-bats and playing together as a team. COVID-19 has also impacted how personal the team is with each other since the team cannot gather as a group outside of practices and many of the players are first-years still getting used to the team and level of competition.
“Normally we are super close by the time the season rolls around because we’re able to do a lot of activities both inside and outside of softball,” said Rawls.
Despite a losing record, the team remains optimistic about the rest of the season.
“I’m super excited for the rest of the season even though we’ve had a rough start,” Payton Totzke, sophomore said. “I’ve already seen so much progress and improvement of the team these past few games. We’re keeping our heads up and staying together knowing we will get better for the next few weeks!”
Team unity remains an important factor for the team.
“For us, it’s important to stick together and have each other’s backs as we continue throughout our season. As a whole, we are very optimistic about how our season will go and look forward to getting better for our upcoming conference games,” Makenzie Stahl, first-year nursing major, said.
Win or lose, these women are excited to have the opportunity to play the sport they love.
“I am so grateful that I’m able to finish my softball career this year. When our season got canceled last year I was devastated and worried about what this year would hold,” senior elementary education major Tori Farr said. “I’m taking advantage of every opportunity because now more than ever, I see how easily the game can be taken away from you.”
The Cardinals begin conference play this weekend with a double-header at UCM March 7 and another at Drury March 12.