By Dani Templin
Although the snow is still on the ground, the spring sports season has started. By traveling to warmer places like Arizona and Florida dur¬ing spring break, Viterbo’s baseball and softball teams have been able to squeeze in a few games.
Lady V-Hawk Softball
So far this season, the V-Hawk softball team has a record of 2-11, with all of their games being played in Tucson, Ariz. While in Arizona, the V-Hawks played 13 games in 7 days.
The V-Hawks are led by sophomore outfielder Maddy Podmolik who is batting .400 and leading the team in hits (16), homeruns (1) and RBIs (7). The sophomore is also leading the team in slugging percentage at .550. Last season as a freshman, Podmolik was a Midwest Collegiate Conference First Team All-Conference selection, and led the V-Hawks with 42 hits, 12 doubles and 26 RBIs, while starting in all 39 games.
Just as Podmolik is putting up impressive statistics early in the season, junior catcher Amanda Berg is also leading the V-Hawks. Berg is second on the team in batting average (.353) and hits (6), while also playing in 11 of the 13 games for the V-Hawks.
Junior Allison Van Haveremaet has led the V-Hawks on the mound with an ERA of 2.03 and 23 strike¬outs, while walking only five batters. Freshman Kristen Tomlinson and sophomore Justine Emerson will continue to back up Van Haveremaet on the mound. The two have combined for 18 strikeouts and 30 earned runs and have walked 12 batters this season.
With snow still covering the ground, the team has had to cancel their last four games, including the Ashford University Spring Bash, which was to take place March 22-23. The V-Hawks are scheduled to open up conference play on March 24 at Grand View University. The V-Hawks’ first home games are planned for March 26, and will host Clarke University with game one beginning at 3:00 p.m.
Unlike the Viterbo softball team, the Viterbo baseball team has been busy playing their early season games in Miami and West Palm Beach, Fla. The team has also made two trips to Minneapolis, Minn. to play a series of games in the Metrodome.
With a season record of 10-8, the V-Hawk men opened up their season Feb. 13 against Morningside College where they ended up with a 2-2 split in the series.
The Hawks then travelled to Florida over spring break where they compiled an 8-6 record in the sunshine state. The team’s most recent series in the Metrodome produced a 4-0 sweep against former MCC team Waldorf College.
Thus far, sophomore outfielder Brandon Breech and senior outfielder and pitcher Blake Shepherd, have led the V-Hawks. In 14 games played, Breech is among the top players in hits (16), batting average (.381) and runs scored (14). Shepherd is leading the team in other statistical categories such as RBIs (10), slugging percentage (.469) and stolen bases (4).
Shepherd has been an MCC First Team All-Conference selection his last two years and last season was Viterbo University’s Male Athlete of the Year. As well as playing outfield, Shepherd has also pitched in three games for the V-Hawks, giving up a 4.32 ERA.
The V-Hawks’ top pitcher this year is senior lefty Chris Dunn. Dunn leads the V-Hawk pitchers in innings pitched (29.2), batters struck out (35) and earned runs average (1.52). Junior right-handed pitcher Taylor Erwin will back up Dunn for the season on the mound. Erwin has two wins this season and has an ERA of 1.12.
The V-Hawk men planned to open conference play on March 23 but the game was cancelled because of bad weather. The team was scheduled to play Clarke College in Dubuque, Iowa. The V-Hawk men will open up at home on April 6-7, when they host Mount Mercy University, with game one beginning at 1 p.m., followed by game two. April 7 start time is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.