Over the weekend, the Illinois State club softball team hosted three games at Champion Fields against the University of Illinois.
Illinois defeated ISU in all three games, 11-10 and 9-3 on Saturday and 13-7 on Sunday.
“We lost all three games which wasn’t fun for us, but even when we got down we never gave up,” team member Amy Berchtold said. “We continued to fight back and get runs.”
One highlight of the weekend was during the first game when ISU nearly came back from a seven-run deficit in the bottom of the seventh inning.
“It showed us as a team how we can pull together and still possibly come back from being down,” team member Emily George said.
George, who is new to the Redbirds this year, has found the transition from high school softball to college softball easier than she predicted.
“After coming onto this team, I’ve made some of my best friends here and we have so much fun playing together, even when we lose,” George said.
As a freshman, this was George’s first time playing at Champion Fields. Both George and fellow Redbird Victoria Watt feel that playing on the home field allowed for friends and family to come and support the team, giving them confidence during the game.
“Having friends and family there is nice because they are a fan base we are not used to having when we play elsewhere,” George said.
To pay tribute to their fan base, members of the softball team organized a cookout after the game.
“It was cold, so everyone wanted to finish the game just to get to the cookout,” Watt said. “I think we were looking forward to that more because it helps bring everyone together.”
Despite the team bonding that occurred off the field, the team is aware that it has some things to work on before it’s next game.
“We know what we need to work on to do better,” Berchtold said. “We will work hard on the fundamentals and get back to the game we want to play.”
“We are a great team,” George added. “We just weren’t mentally prepared and if we could have played them one more time, we could have easily beaten them.”
For Watt, playing against Illinois meant playing against one of her friends.
“I have played with her before so I know her strengths and weaknesses,” Watt said. “But it was nice knowing that I knew someone else on the field.”
The Redbirds take the field next on Nov. 9 against Eastern Illinois University.