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Lady Eagles Facing Tough Test as Season Winds Down

Jacob Steinberg, IV Leader Sports Co-Editor

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IVCC Softball head coach Cory Tomasson’s goal is to win conference, advance to the final four of the regional tournament and qualify for nationals. In fact, the goal has remained the same every year of his 19-year tenure.

So far, Tomasson is confident that the team can attain those goals this season. But he is not counting his chickens before they hatch, saying that a tough test lies ahead.  The Lady Eagles are scheduled to face conference opponents such as Black Hawk, Kishwaukee, Sauk Valley, and Highland for the second time. Tomasson says, “We can’t become complacent with this because there is still a long way to go.”

The team is in good standing after 19 games this season, compiling a 13-5 record overall, an undefeated record in conference and an eight-game winning streak to top it all off. Tomasson noted that consistency has carried the Lady Eagles so far.

Hitting has been very sharp for the Lady Eagles this season. The team has a slash mark of .387/.450/.476 as of publication.
Though they have only slugged five home runs, they are top ten in the region when it comes to slugging percentage and lead the region in batting average.

The plate approach for the Lady Eagles differs from most colleges. While Tomasson emphasizes slap hits, bunts and line drives, most colleges have switched to an emphasis on launch angle. Tomasson calls himself “old-school” when it comes to that. “I will take a .450 average with a bunch of doubles than a .250 average with a bunch of home runs… I think our team will score runs with the averages we have,” Tomasson added.

Most players are batting above .300. Jessica Garber leads the squad with a .457 batting average and a .561 on base perentage. She is one of the players that has stepped her game up this season. Tomasson is impressed with her game: “She is athletic as can be… three quarters of her hits have been bunts, and even when she bunts to the pitcher she is a really difficult out.”

Tomasson calls her the spark plug for the offense, saying that setting the table at the bottom has helped them in terms of who leads off.

Pitching has also been stout so far. The Lady Eagles are eighth in the region in earned run average with 3.92. The staff has been anchored by Brenna McCann. She has won all nine of her appearances as of publication, adding an impressive 2.14 ERA with that. Maddie Dougherty is starting to regain her form after a slow start.

Otherwise, Tomasson has been holding back pitchers such for upcoming games. “They will get utilized, but it’s just a matter of when we use them,” said Tomasson. “We haven’t had to use them since we’ve gotten home but I’m guessing they will be pitching more with these upcoming games.”

There are still a lot of games to be played in a relatively short period of time with a lot of traveling come next week. “There are two teams in Carl Sandburg and Madison that are really tough hurdles for us to get around,” said Tomasson.

The Lady Eagles will face a big test as the season winds down. It will help test them in their will to attain the ultimate goal that is set out every year.

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Lady Eagles Facing Tough Test as Season Winds Down