The Scarlet & Black

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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Softball season plagued by injury

As the weather gets hot and the humidity reaches a new high, the Grinnell softball season comes to a close. The Pioneers finished their season Monday with a split double header against Loras College. Despite a disappointing 6-28 record, bookended with wins in their first and last games, the Pioneers found many positives about the season.

“We did a lot of good things but I wish we could have turned it into some more wins on the score board,” interim coach Craig Arendt said. “[There were] a lot of positives, we set a lot of school records and all those people are back [next season.]”

Amanda Stromquist '12 pitches to catcher Julia Reese '10 during the Pioneers' final game of the season against Loras College. - Ben Brewer

Staying healthy was the biggest obstacle for a team already low in numbers.

“What really hurt us were injuries,” pitcher Hannah Bauman ’13 said. “You can’t account for that.”

With 10 of the 11 players fighting an injury at some point in the season, the team’s primary goal for next year is to stay healthy and augment their numbers. The team’s growth next year will depend heavily on the yet–to-be-determined head coach.  Presently, the athletic department is accepting applications for a new head coach for the fourth time in three years. The players and the athletic department have communicated about what the team is hoping for in a new coach.

The team wants a coach “who’s going to be committed, who knows a lot about softball,” Bauman said. “[Someone] in line with Grinnell’s values…someone who is motivational.”

However, the job listing was not posted until recently, so the players may not have the opportunity to interview candidates before the school year ends in two weeks.

“I think that waiting so long to post the job was not what the girls were looking for.” Julia Reese ’10 said. “We were hoping they would post the job sooner so that we could be more involved in the selection process.”

Arendt hopes to continue his involvement with the program and plans to apply for the head coach position.

“[Arendt] has shown the most dedication to softball of any faculty member at this college.” Reese said. “I hope he’s involved just because his level of dedication has been greater than anybody else’s.”

A senior leader, Reese’s absence next year will be sorely felt, though the young team is excited to return 10 players. “We only lose one senior and she’s going to be a tremendous loss but we’ve got 10 people back that have all played significant minutes,” Arendt said. “We’re going to have people that hold school records, there are all conference performers back next year, and that’s a lot to build on.”

Some of the important players that the team hopes to build on next year are the three Pioneers who broke individual records this season.. Amanda Stromquist ’12 hit 6 homeruns in one season, besting the previous record of 4 set in 2000. Brianna Gallo ’11 stole a record-breaking 18 bases this season, five of them against Washington and Jefferson College to set the program’s single game record. After only her third season Gallo has eclipsed the record for most steals in a career with a total of 38, besting the previous record by 13 bases. Kelsey Montgomery ’11 annihilated two put-out records at first base with 336 put-outs for a season and 697 in her career.

Bauman summed up the feelings of the team tottering on the edge of success— “Come see us next year!”

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