Softball heads indoors for winter training
The NIC softball team wrapped up the fall season on Oct. 15 and 16 with two home wins against area teams. The team ended the season with a record of 5-3-1.
The Lady Cards swept the Northwest Wildfire in three six-inning scrimmages on Oct. 16 and beat the CDA Crush on Oct. 15 in two seven-inning games. Scores were not kept since they were exhibition games, but head coach Don Don Williams confirmed both victories.
The Lady Cards won’t be heading into hibernation over winter though. Instead they will continue to hone their skills before the spring debut scheduled on Jan. 27-30 in Las Vegas.
The college owns an off-site warehouse that the women will be using for practice during the snow season. Williams said the focus will be on programs for individuals tailored to improve hitting and pitching.
“I think we are going to be a smart team with good solid bats and good pitching [next season],” Williams said. “I think you can win with that. Defense will come along as we get more time in the dirt come March, even though we start playing in January.”
NIC had a series of away games at the University of Washington on Oct. 7-9. During the weekend tournament, the Lady Cards posted a 0-3-1 record against many Division I schools.
The tournament featured timed play of one hour and 40 minutes instead of traditional innings. Coach Williams said that the teams rarely made it past six innings for each game.
On Oct. 7, the team played against the Bellevue Community College Bulldogs and managed to tie the team 5-5. Coach Williams said that the game was “back and forth” during the five and a half innings.
The women lost their double-header on Oct. 8 playing against the Pacific Coast Softball Conference (PCSC) team Seattle University Redhawks and Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges (NWAACC) team, the Wenatchee Valley Knights.
The loss to the Redhawks was close with a score 6-5. Freshman pitcher Emily Perlick, 18, elementary education, recalled the Seattle team playing an “intense” first game that Saturday.
The team couldn’t redeem themselves in the second game that day against the Knights. Wenatchee swept the Cardinals 4-0 even though NIC out hit their opponents 12-8.
“We have a lot of potential to be a great team, we just sometimes don’t show up on the same page,” said sophomore third base and utility KaSara Wise, 19, general studies. “Other than that, we play really well together and we are a good group of girls who are energetic.”
The final day of competition turned out a loss for the Lady Cards against Division I school and Pacific Athletic Conference (PAC) No. 6 ranked University of Washington Huskies. NIC got swept 8-0. Coach Williams said there were seven errors in the first inning alone that contributed to the women losing that game.
As the Lady Cards change focus to their 18-credit schedules and individual training session, there was a chance to reflect on the fall scrimmages.
“We learned a lot about each other,” Perlick said. “Just like how everybody ticks and everybody’s strengths and weaknesses and all sorts of stuff.”
The Kickoff Classic in January will host many top 20 schools around the country. Many schools from Arizona and Florida will be there, as well as all the Scenic West Athletic Conference (SWAC) teams. Coach Williams said that she expects “tough competition” at that event.