Big Hitting Looks to Take Girls Softball Through Playoffs

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Other sports are able to adapt their practices to fit indoors, but when it comes to softball, the challenge grows a bit harder. Waunakee’s softball team has practically been locked indoors nearly all of May as torrential rain left pools of water on their field. However, they did not let this tamper their spirit. The girls are looking at second place in conference and received the five seed going into playoffs. With a 10-4 conference record and a 10-5 overall record, the girls are hoping for a big playoff run.

Senior Kelsey Smithback has been lights out this year. As starting pitcher for the Warriors throughout most of the season, she has helped control each game. “I have felt very comfortable on the mound, especially with where we are in the season right now.” Smithback said about her season so far, “My teammates have proven that they have my back in the field, which gives me more confidence.”

Not only has the defense performed, but Waunakee’s offense has been no less than spectacular this year, driving in runs left and right. In a game against Baraboo on May 5, seniors Maggie Check and Ally Hilker and junior Caitlyn Kesilewski combined for five out of the seven runs scored in the game. Baraboo pitching could not handle the offense, giving up three doubles in the sixth inning alone and a home run from junior Ally Ronk in the third. The girls hit a slump, falling in back to back games against Beaver Dam and DeForest, but they rose to the challenge. They have now won their last two games going into the playoffs and are hoping to continue for a successful playoff run.

Though they are coming off two big wins, Waunakee knows they have to stay focused. Sophomore Trista Ripp expands on this. “We have to be at the top of our game and be really strong as a team. As coach says, ‘embrace adversity.’” This tight-knit group is ready for the challenge. The girls play their first playoff game tonight against Madison LaFollete.