It’s a big weekend for Chicago. To preview what the next few weeks hold for the Maroons, they have Wheaton, Elmhurst, Lawrence, and Illinois Wesleyan on the schedule to close their season before tournament play begins. With an incredible record of 21–6, the South Siders are already ahead of where they stood this time last season.
With a four-game win streak, one away from their season best of five, the squad heads into a weekend of doubleheaders for a chance to best its streak and pick up four more wins. The Maroons will roll to Wheaton, Illinois on Friday to face off against neighboring competitor, Wheaton College. Third-year Anna Woolery says that in order to have a great close to their great season, the Maroons must “keep their momentum going and, as a team, maintain their intensity offensively and their focus defensively.”
The South Siders will certainly have their hands full against Wheaton’s star pitcher, Katie Thornton, who has pitched 70 percent of Wheaton’s innings while averaging almost a strikeout per inning. To get Thornton early, the Maroons must have good pitch selection and utilize their short fame to manufacture runs when necessary.
Saturday is a quick turn around, however, as the Maroons will face off against Elmhurst in another doubleheader. Saturday, the last home game of the season, is also Senior Day for the Maroons. The squad will be sending off fourth-years Kristin Lopez, Jordan Poole, Kat Kohm, and Devan Parkison. Woolery said she had lots of fond memories of this accomplished bunch. She recalls hitting behind fourth-year Devan Parkinson, saying, “It has been a really fun experience. Devan always give me solid intel on the pitcher and fires up the team by finding a way to get on base.”
On Lopez, Woolery added, “besides getting to play with such a poised player, making Sunday dinner, with Kristin has been wonderful. She is truly one of the most happy and giving people I know.”
First-year Serena Moss, though new to the team, immediately became keen to one of her fourth-years. She rambled on about pitcher Jordan Poole, saying, “She is one of the most calm and collected players I know, even in high pressure situations. The bases will be loaded. Two outs. Jordan will be smiling on the mound and throw a strike with no problem.”
Woolery says that she’ll miss fourth-year Kat Kohlm making a pancake breakfast for the entire team after a Saturday morning practice each winter. First-year Carly Schulz said, “Being a freshman on this team has been an amazing experience. The upperclassmen are extremely welcoming and encouraging; they treat all of us first years as their equals while simultaneously showing us the ropes on what it means to be impactful teammates and leaders. They make contributing as a freshman not only possible, but really exciting and worthwhile, too.”
The game following Elmhurst will be against Lawrence University in Wisconsin. Originally scheduled to take place this Sunday, the game has been currently postponed to a later date, which is pending. Going into these games Schulz said, “we're thinking a lot about regionals. Our chances for regionals are pretty dependent on us showing up and executing in the coming games. We know that we deserve the chance to extend our season into NCAAs, so we're definitely going to fight with that in mind.”