UW-L Softball Strong After Record Setting Arizona Tournament


Retrieved from uwlathletics.com

Karley Betzler, Sports Reporter

The UW-L Softball team had their first tournament of the season over spring break. The team ventured down to Arizona for the Tucson Invitational. It was at this tournament that UW-L Junior Katie Klein tied NCAA Division record for saves.

“I could not have received this award without the other pitchers on our team. It’s an honor to be able come in and pitch the later innings of close games.,” stated Klein “It is a stressful role, but I love it. To me, it means that our pitching staff can do anything together.”

UW-L Softball Head Coach, Christopher Helixon, explained, “Whenever a student-athlete sets a record, it is an indicator that the team is being successful.  Katie would not have been able to accomplish this feat if our starting pitchers were not setting the table for her or our position players were not having quality at-bats and scoring runs.”

The Eagles went 13-1 at the Tucson Invitational. They hope to translate that success to conference play.

“It can get tough with playing 14 games in one week, but the team always brought energy to every game,” Klein explained, “I was extremely impressed with our offense. We have a great group of freshman girls who can hit the ball as well as returners.”

Helixon discussed his hopes of transferring the team’s success in Arizona to Wisconsin. “Our success in Arizona stemmed from accurate pitching, aggressive hitting, especially early in the count, and solid defense.”

The team has approached this season with hard work and a competitive attitude.

“Our practices have a very competitive environment where we are constantly working to get better as a whole. It feels different than any other team I have been on.”

According to Helixon, the team’s three captains Jessie Carignan, Lane Dickman, and Jenny Gallagher, make UW-L’s softball team special.

“All three are very selfless: They are always willing to help teammates on or off the field. Their leadership has led to strong team cohesion.”

“We are 15-3 on the year, and all three losses were one-run losses. I am thrilled with our team’s work ethic and performance under pressure,” remarked Helixon

The team continues their hard work on Sunday, March 26 for a doubleheader against Saint Mary’s University at UW-L.  They will head to St. Paul, Minn. Thursday, March 30 for a doubleheader at St. Thomas University.