|‘Bird softball swings into 2010 fall games with force|
|Written by Emily Warner, Daily Vidette Senior Staff|
|Thursday, 23 September 2010 17:57|
There is nothing as tantalizing as having a bite of something delicious but not being able to have any more.
In terms of the Illinois State softball team, the same could be said of getting a taste of the postseason, but losing two close games to end the exciting ride that was an at-large bid to the NCAA Regionals.
“I think anytime you come off a season like we had last year…there’s always a real positive feeling returning,” ISU head coach Melinda Fischer said. “Now we want to see if we can get further and I think the returning players really have that kind of attitude and that certainly helps some of our younger players make adjustments to collegiate ball a little better.”
For the Redbirds, the fall season is a chance to see what cards they are playing and identify areas to work on in preparation for the spring season.
“The fall season is really about learning and kind of teaching the new players about the program and what it’s all about,” senior Kara Nelson said. “For the returners, it’s about getting back into the swing of things and back into rhythm.”
The ‘Birds’ fall season has just begun with a game against Lake Land College on Sept 16 and a contest verse Heartland Community College yesterday. The games were considered to be scrimmages, and score was not kept for either contest. The games were beneficial in giving the ‘Birds an opportunity to try different combinations of players on the field.
On Saturday, ISU will travel to Wisconsin to take on the Badgers in a doubleheader. These games will be the first of the fall season to have a competitive edge.
“That’ll be our first game situation. That will be as realistic as we’re going to play all spring, so I think you’re looking at something different when you go against that type of situation,” Fischer said.
ISU will once again host the State Farm Illinois Collegiate Softball Championships, which will begin Oct. 2. The tournament will feature Bradley, DePaul, Eastern Illinois, HCC, Illinois-Chicago, LLC, Northern Illinois, Northwestern, Southern Illinois-Carbondale, Southern Illinois-Edwardsville and Western Illinois.
“We’re playing a really competitive schedule for the fall. The tournament that we host, I think almost all the D-I teams in Illinois are there,” Nelson said. “There are going to be some competitive games, but I think we have high expectations for ourselves to do well.”
The Redbirds are slated to take on Northern Illinois on Oct. 2, followed by a game against SIU-E. From there, ISU will play two more games and their opponents will be determined based on how the tournament plays out.
“[The fall season] is a great time to see what you have and identify your strengths and weaknesses,” Fischer said.