UWS softball talks strategy for dirt diamond in NCAA tournament opener

UWS softball talks strategy for dirt diamond in NCAA tournament

UWS softball talks strategy for dirt diamond in NCAA tournament

Wednesday morning the University of Wisconsin-Superior (UWS) softball team’s journey to the NCAA DIII tournament began. They departed Superior for the Central College Regional in Pella, Iowa.

Coming off their program’s sixth Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) title, and boasting a 26-13 overall record, the Yellowjackets bring a lot to the diamond.

“We are so strong defensively this year, just all the way through. That’s something I really want to make sure we bring down to Iowa and show other teams what we got,” junior captain Zoe Thomson said.

“We’re working a lot on the types of pitchers we’re going to see in here. So some spin pitches to learn, practicing seeing spin out of the hand. Having fast swings and not cutting around it,” fellow junior captain Ellie Macal added.

Training early this week, one of UWS’ points of focus has been prepping for a dirt field. Playing the majority of their season on turf, the Yellowjackets want to be able to expect the unexpected.

“Just making sure that you’re slowing down. It’s really nice on turf, you get consistent bounces all the time. Dirt is not that friendly. You have to make sure you keep your body in front of it, you have to be quick with your hands, good release. You have to be ready for those bounces,” head coach Melissa Fracker explained. “It’s just making sure we’re seeing the ball off the bat, we’re keeping our body low to it, and all of those little things.”

Fourth seeded UWS will seek their first NCAA DIII tournament win in program history on Thursday. They are slated to battle the hosts of the regional in top-seeded Central College at Noon.

“When we sat down at the start of the year and made goals, the goal was to make history as a team. And thankfully, the team has put themselves in a position to be able to go to Iowa and try to make program history. So away we go,” Fracker added.