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Lady Eagles are swinging for nationals

Aaron Pellican, Assistant Sports Editor

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The IVCC Lady Eagles are looking to soar into the regular season as a result of this offseason’s hard work.

After last season’s record of 17-16 the team has high hopes for this year. The team has a lot of second year players, and that will be a key point of emphasis this year.

Cory Tomasson, head coach, says he “really tries to use all of the returning players as leaders.”

This season there are seven returning sophomores compared to only three the previous season. Tomasson, says these leaders include Maty Nowakowski, Lauren Tjaden, Brianna Lau and Lu Mautino.

Tjaden, pitcher and first basemen, says the team has more experience this year, more options and more speed.

Experience is something Tjaden knows a thing or two about because she led the team in innings pitched in the 2017 campaign, yet Tjaden believes the diversity on the team this year is what will lead them to success.

“We have many players that can play multiple positions so we can switch things up if needed,” Tjaden said.

Another talented sophomore coming off a successful season last year is Quincie Weber. In 2017, Weber hit a solid .360 with 4 HRs and 36 RBIs.

The Lady Eagles center fielder believes that there is going to be even more offense this year.

“We have a lot of good hitters this year from what I saw during the fall,” Weber said.

The players seem to have a ton of confidence in their abilities going into the season, and Tomasson has some confidence as well.

He backed Weber and Tjaden in their comments, saying that every player has an opportunity to start.

Starting is one thing, but performing under pressure in the late innings makes a huge difference when it comes to the game of softball.

Tomasson later explained that many players will be called upon to come through in clutch substitute situations.

“We usually call for that pinch hitter in a crucial spot in the game, and the stress is rather high at that time,” Tomasson said.

The team has set a few goals for themselves that include winning the Arrowhead Conference, advancing to the Region IV Final Four and advancing to the National Tournament.

Aside from each player proving herself on the field before the season gets started, they must also prove themselves in the classroom. These players are, after all, student athletes and they are here to primarily earn a quality education.

“Within the athletic department we have really tried to stress that academics come before athletics,” said Tomasson.

This motto proves to be an influence on many players considering they have lost only two players to academic ineligibility over the past 19 years, Tomasson said.

The Lady Eagles’ trip to Florida during March gave them some experience and a couple of quality victories as well.

The team finished the road trip with a 3-3 record, defeating Heartland, Mott, and Iowa Lakes.

As of press time, the Lady Eagles had a 5-7 record. The team batting average was .312.

Freshman Brenna McCann was leading the team with a .531 batting average. Hall graduates Rena Barroso and Luciana Mautino follow McCann with batting averages of .382 and 379, respectively.

McCann, Tjaden and Maddie Dougherty all have taken turns on the mound for the Lady Eagles, with a team earned run average of 6.31.

A full look at the Lady Eagles schedule can be found on the new athletics website, ivcceagles.com

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Lady Eagles are swinging for nationals