Coming off twelve games in seven days over spring break, Chicago (7–5) entered this week with a double-header scheduled against Lake Forest (4–8) on Tuesday. Due to a postponement, the team has had six days to rest and prepare for a double-header this afternoon at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. Tuesday’s games were rescheduled for tomorrow at Lake Forest at 1 p.m.
“It’s been really nice to have the whole week to practice,” second-year pitcher Kim Cygan said. “We can figure out what we need to fix from our Florida trip, and we’ll be ready to go for the Friday and Saturday games.”
“It was actually nice that the game got postponed, because it’s now good to have a break to work on the things that we really need to work on,” second-year pitcher Melissa Collins said. “We have this week to recuperate and focus on this weekend.”
The team went 7–5 in Florida and won five of their last six games. With only two fourth-years in the group, the start was not entirely disappointing.
“[The trip] provided a really good learning experience for us,” Collins added. “We’re pretty young this year, so we have new people in different positions, and we were able to get a flow for the game situation. We got all the kinks out by the end.”
“On the Florida trip, we didn’t have any other obligations during the day since we were on a break,” Cygan continued. “It was a really good experience to play a lot of games. It made for a great bonding experience.”
The multitude of games during spring break exposed the team’s weaknesses, and the postponement this week gives the team more than enough time to work on them.
“We’re still a little tired from Florida, but our practices this week have been really good,” second-year outfielder Samantha Hobson noted. “What we’ve been lacking is the small things. We’ve been working on the details, and it should help this weekend.”
“The young players have a lot to do with how we’re shaping up as a team,” Hobson added. “If we had been playing together more often, we would have just clicked right away. We haven’t had that opportunity. We’re just finding that now.”
After months of practicing indoors at the Henry Crown Field House, playing outdoors has helped the team come together.
“We were practicing in Crown every day, so it was nice for our season to start in Florida where we got to play outside and spend the whole week together,” Cygan said. “It was the first time we really got outside to play games.”
“Even though it’s cold outside, we anticipate this kind of weather every day in the winter,” Hobson added. “Having to be inside for so long makes playing outside so much better. We can really try and test our range. We work on fundamentals inside, and outside we can work on diving, sliding, and actually playing softball.”
With everything coming together, the team is looking to use the momentum from the tail end of the Florida trip to propel them to wins this weekend.
“Hope is going to be pretty good this year since they have a new coach, so it’ll be good to come back and play a good time right away,” Cygan concluded. “But we should go 4–0 this weekend. If we play to our level, we should be able to do that.”