Story by Culture Editor Leah Ash
The regular softball season has come to an end. The Aquinas College Varsity softball team has had a successful season so far, finishing conference play in fifth with a record of 14-8.
After a rough start in February, the team managed to bounce back with vengeance, ending regular play with only 17 losses. Head Coach Bradley Koch said “I feel like we’ve had an excellent season overall. We’ve won 31 of 48 and have hit a lot of our goals and milestones.”
While there have been highs and lows throughout the season, there have been many great moments and memories made with the team. So far, one of Koch’s favorite parts of the season has been watching the team have fun and become better teammates to each other.
On the field, Koch says the doubleheader against Madonna University was a huge highlight, “Two great softball games, we lost a 1-0 game in the tenth inning and then came from behind to take game two 6-5 on a huge 2-RBI double by Kimmy Sosnowski.”
While the season ended in a bit of a slump, the team is preparing to make a run through the tournament to once again head to Nationals. The team last received a National berth in 2021 when they won both the league and the tournament.
The WHAC Tournament marks the beginning of the postseason and starts on Wednesday, May 3 in Sylvania, Ohio. The Saints will play their first game at 4 p.m. against Madonna University.
“Heading into the postseason, I am very confident that we can win the WHAC tournament and qualify for a National berth,” said Koch. “I feel like we have the best overall pitching staff and I know our hitters and defenders are going to be ready to play well.”
The four student-athletes graduating this year leave tough shoes to fill. Graduate student Isabelle Dawson has had an amazing year so far, climbing her way to the top of the record books. Dawson is tied for first in career home runs with 29, became Aquinas’ all-time leader in career total bases with 408, and holds the Aquinas all-time career hits record with over 250 hits.
Of the other graduating members of the team, the Aquinas College Varsity team will lose two starting pitchers, Kayla Fessenden and Leah Ash, and catcher/first baseman Taylor Charon. All four of these athletes have been invaluable to the team and sorely missed next year.
However, they aren’t done yet. Expect to see great things from Team 45 and their seniors as they compete in the upcoming tournament!