The Daily Northwestern

Softball: Wildcats looking to prove rallies were no fluke

Josh Walfish, Reporter

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When Kate Drohan walked to her usual coaching spot for the seventh inning of Northwestern’s game with Long Island University-Brooklyn on Sunday, she paused for a moment to ask herself if her team had one more late-game rally left in them. Her mindset quickly shifted to getting the leadoff batter on base.

But the question lingered as to whether the Wildcats had enough magic to pull out the perfect weekend.

NU had already won three games last weekend with runs in the final inning, but the Cats had just enough magic to score two runs in the seventh against the Blackbirds and pull out the 10-9 victory. Drohan said she learned a lot about her team last weekend and that it bodes well for the rest of the season.

“I’ve never seen a team do what we did this last weekend,” Drohan said. “That shows me there’s an unbelievable amount of fight and it shows me we have a lot of confidence.”

Drohan said the team never looked or played like it was defeated especially at moments when other teams would just pack it up and fight another day. Sophomore outfielder Andrea DiPrima said the Cats have started to come together to conquer challenges.

“This team has so much heart,” DiPrima said. “Now when we have a challenge we get excited about it and our team really pulls together and we embrace that challenge. That’s what’s helping us win the close games.”

As nice as the wins may be, Drohan said Sunday night after the team landed in Chicago she would rather have the team play more consistently throughout the game. She said she wants the team to stay focused throughout the game and take the game pitch-by-pitch.

Sophomore first baseman Julia Kuhn said Drohan kept telling them during the games that she wanted the team to play like it’s the seventh inning all the time. Drohan reiterated that stance and said she wants the Cats to play with the same type of fight from the first pitch to the last.

“We need to have the same kind of urgency and execution in every inning,” Drohan said. “It’s about having a very clear and focused approach for every at-bat.”

NU began the season by losing all five games in Arizona, but the Cats have played much better of late, winning eight on its last nine contests. This weekend, the Cats travel back to California for the Easton Invitational where they will face three ranked teams. NU begins by facing No. 8 California and is also set to face No. 16 Stanford and No. 24 Oregon State.

The Cats and Beavers met in Tempe with Oregon State prevailing 7-3. Drohan said playing ranked opponents certainly gives NU more motivation, but the team’s success has stemmed from working on itself and not worrying about its opponent.

“Our success in the last two weeks comes from us focusing on our own game,” Drohan said. “Our success will come from us staying the course and focusing from getting just a little bit better every single day. With this team especially this year it doesn’t matter who’s in the other dugout.”

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About the Writer
Josh Walfish, Sports Editor

Josh Walfish was Sports editor of The Daily. His past positions include Gameday editor. He is from Rockville, Md., and has interned for RantSports.