The Eastern Michigan University softball team is currently 8-12 and was on the road over the weekend to take part in the Louisville Tournament.
I took some time this past week to speak with four of the five seniors on EMU’s softball team: Pitcher Jenna Ignowski, infielders Katy Blaharski and Nellie Coquillard and outfielder Courtney Nicholson.
The team was 8-8 going into the tournament, but the team still has high hopes for the season.
Ignowski mentioned the hitting on the team really standing out to her so far.
“To me, one of the most important things that I like is our hitting,” Ignowski said. “Our hitting has come out. For our team, it’s all about the process. So far this season, we’ve come out and in first innings, we’ve jumped on other teams.
Ignowski is currently 4-3 in 13 appearances with a 5.22 ERA in 49.2 innings pitched this season.
Blaharski said that despite the .500 record the team had when she was interviewed, her team is still fighting hard every game. She said the results obviously aren’t always good, but the team is still fighting until the last out.
“We’re fighting hard every game,” Blaharski said. “Yeah, we’re 8-8, but we haven’t had bad games. We’re playing really hard, we’re fighting till the end … sometimes we get killed, but we’re making progress.
Blaharski has started all 20 games for EMU so far and is hitting .333 (21-for-63), including two doubles.
The team’s hard work also stands out to Nicholson as well, especially because many of the players are so young; there are six freshmen and three sophomores on the team’s 16-player roster.
“I think the hard work this team has put in, everyone on this team is giving all they have every single time they step on the field,” Nicholson said. “We are really clicking well as a team and it’s nice to see that, especially with a lot of youth.”
Nicholson has also started every game this year. She is hitting .328 (19-for-58), including two doubles and two triples and has six RBIs.
Looking at the record, Coquillard simply felt her team was better than the stat sheet says it is.
“So far, seeing the stats that we’re 8-8, it doesn’t feel like we’re 8-8,” Coquillard said. “I feel like we’re doing so much better than that and the games we are losing aren’t because we’re getting blown away or anything, it’s because of one or two little things we need to improve on to win those games.”
Coquillard is also a key everyday player for EMU. She is the team’s power hitter, and while she is only hitting .241 (14-for-58), she currently leads the team in home runs with three and is tied for third on the team in RBIs with 10.
The team has eight days off before it takes on the Oakland University Grizzlies in a doubleheader at Varsity Field on March 27. The first game is scheduled for 3 p.m. with game two taking place after.
Ignowski and the rest of the seniors hope to see the fans behind her when she and her team take the field.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Ignowski said. “I think our environment here at the softball field is really enjoyable. You can just sit out in the outfield, have a couple drinks, barbeque, bring your dogs … we’re very dog friendly here and love animals. I just think that the environment here is just very family [oriented] and very relaxing, so just come out, relax and have a good time.”