The approaching end to yet another season puts a thought into every athletes mind. The playoffs. This is especially true in a cut-throat Northwest conference where five teams are competing for the final spots into the 2013 NWC softball tournament.
Although they are prepared and capable to take on the challenge, there is no doubt it will put their strength to the test.
“Our mentality going into the last couple games is very determined,” said junior Rebecca Moen. “The close losses we have gone through really set a fire that was needed to push us through. These last couple of games will be exciting.”
Currently the Boxer softball squad has a 10-10 conference record which puts them at 4th in the league, on track for qualifying for the tournament.
However, competing along-side Pacific is George Fox with a 12-12 record. Also right in the middle is Whitworth at 13-9.
These statistics show how crucial each of the remaining games will be. With that being said, it is important that the mentality is right going into the deciding games. Head Coach Tim Hill said “All we can do is play each game and try to take care of what we can control.”
There is a lot of truth to Hill’s comments. After the rained-out games again Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran this past weekend, the team will have eight more opportunities to put themselves in the best position possible.
Among the compilation of their strengths is the strong willpower all of the girls have. “We have had this bulldog mentality throughout the whole season and now that it is approaching the last few weekends I think we are all pushing even harder,” freshman Marissa Reichard says.
“We all want the chance to be in the playoffs. We have a great team and we all work together very well. I think that will help us continue to push through and finish the season on a good note.”
On the road to the tournament, the Boxers will need to complete the postponed games. In addition, they will trade of locations for four games against Lewis and Clark, finishing at home on Sunday, April 14 with a double-header.
Sophomore Kylee Oshiro feels her team is ready to take on what is left of the season.
“Our plan is to just continue what we are doing, and keep improving to show the rest of the conference who we are,” said Oshiro.
“The progression of the season has brought about great things,” coach Hill noted. “Our players have become a much closer-knit group, have accepted and embraced their roles, and have bought into a true team concept.”
All the tools are here and the stage is set. What is left are a few more games of hard fought softball.
After that, it’s just a matter of which direction the ball rolls.