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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Spring sports ready to rock and roll

<own about the abrupt end to the men’s basketball season? Never fear, spring sports are here! Despite the decidedly wintry weather, the next season of Knights athletics is already getting under way. With the powerhouse tennis teams already well into their sea- son and softball and baseball get-ting started, we look ahead to what promises to be an exciting spring for Knight Knation.

Baseball: Expect plenty of slug- fests at Mel Taube Field as the Knights return seven starters from last year’s squad, five of whom hit over .350 in 2010. Leading the on- slaught are second baseman Alex Wirta ’12 and designated hitter Grant Bowen ’11, both whom hit over .400 in conference play last year. Right fielder Patrick Philley ’12, first baseman Kiyota Gomi ’12 and third baseman Clay Parrish ’12 will also be key cogs in the lineup, while shortstop David Ames ’11 and center fielder Erik Fabry ’11 will anchor the Knights defensively. In order to compete with the class of the MIAC, however, the team will need its pitchers to step up big time. Jacob Ander- son ’11 and Paul Dimick ’12 are the only returners to have logged more than 20 innings last year and whether or not the Knights can find reliable arms beyond the pair will likely determine the success of this year’s squad. The team begins its campaign this weekend with games against Central and Loras Colleges in Jacksonville, Ill. before heading to Southern California for 10 games over spring break.

Softball: The Knights will once again be full of young faces, but with their top two returners just sophomores, the team hopes to make strides forward in 2011 and improve on last year’s finish. Leading the way will be infielder Kelsey Parsons ’13, who led the MIAC with a .480 on-base percentage in 2010 and was one of just three rookies on the all-conference team. Chelsea Yost ’11 will anchor the pitching staff after becoming just the fifth hurler in program history to strike out 100 batters in a season last year. Playing first base when not on the mound, her bat will also be key as she trailed only Parsons in batting average in 2010. Also look for catcher Jocelyn Friedman ‘13 to increase her plate production and infielder Jenny Ramey ‘14 to provide a spark at the top of the order. The Knights’ roster features 11 first-years, but just one junior and one senior, meaning new faces will need to step up in a big way for the team to move past its recent struggles. The Knights began their season at the Rochester Dome last weekend with losses to UW-Platteville and St. Scholastica and will travel to Arizona over break.

Men’s Tennis: After winning the MIAC playoffs and playing into the second round of the NCAA Tournament last spring, the Knights have looked good during the indoor portion of their 2011 campaign, post- ing a 5-1 record and a 3-0 mark in conference matches. The Knights entered the year ranked eighth in the central region and plowed past D-II St. Cloud State 8-1 before suffering their only setback at the hands of nationally-ranked UW- Whitewater. Peter Dunn ’12 has been undefeated at first singles in five matches while Dan Vollman ’13 has won all six of his singles contests. The team heads to Hilton Head, S.C. over break before returning for its outdoor season.

Women’s Tennis: The Knights opened their indoor season ranked 27th nationally and have lived up to the hype, winning all five of their matches so far, including four against MIAC opponents. The one non-conference was a 9-0 drubbing of D-II St. Cloud State. Kathryn Schmidt ’12, Bridget Doyle ’13, Anne Lombardi ’14, and Erin Gudul ’12 have all gone undefeated in both singles and doubles play. The team will join the men in Hilton Head over break before returning for outdoor playing and seeking to improve on last year’s run to the MIAC semifinals.

Men’s Track and Field: Once the Knights wrap up the indoor track season, the team will turn its attention to bettering its 10th- place showing at last year’s MIAC Outdoor Championships. Based on his indoor performances, Ty Mar- tin ’11 will likely be faster than ever in the hurdles and eclipse his All-MIAC honorable mention performance of 2010. With the move outside, John Davis ’11 will return to his signature event, the steeple- chase, where he was also honorable mention all-conference. With an impressive freshman class currently strutting itself inside, the Knights are poised to improve under the sun come spring.

Women’s Track and Field: With a pair of outdoor All-Americans hungry for fresh air, the Knights will hope to improve on last year’s eighth-place conference showing once their season moves out- side. Simone Childs-Walker ’12 won All-America honors in both the 5k and 10k last year and has looked just as dominant during the winter indoor season. Meanwhile, Kelly Lovett ’11 will be ready for a happy reunion with the javelin once the outdoor schedule begins. The two-time All-American placed fourth nationally in the event last year and seventh in 2009.

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