Thursday, May 25, 2006

Something for Everyone

The Northwestern Softball Wildcats will take to Sharon J. Drysdale Field once again tomorrow to continue their quest to the College World Series. It's a best 2 out of 3 series with the UMass Minutewomen and i'll leave some of the hardcore previewing to the rest of the crew here in Evanston, but in thinking about this Wildcat Softball Team I've realized there are just so many personalities, characters, etc. to love about this team. It's almost a buffet of qualities we all should admire in our sports teams and athletes.

Lets start at the top with the coaching staff. Kate and Caryl Drohan, along with their staff are a group of young and determined women. Although they have the respect and loyalty of their players, they are just "cool" people and it's always a blast to chat some softball and hear their stories. Their youth and energy trickles all the way down through the roster.

Next, you have the "hollywood" flash and pizzaz of Garland Cooper, Eileen Canney, and Tammy Williams. They were Big Ten Player, Pitcher, and Freshman of the year respectively. They have received national attention (a great piece on Eileen Canney up on's college sports secton) and have put up big numbers (big average for Cooper, big strikeouts for Canney, big home runs for Williams)

Next, you have the battle tested veterans who took a chance on Kate Drohan in coming to Northwestern and trying to build something special. Jamie Dotson has started every game she's been at Northwestern and has been a leader. Courtnay Foster is among the Big Ten's greatest pitchers ever and has been a warrior in the circle ever since her freshman year.

What if you just like grit and hardcore toughness? I recommend you come out and watch Darcy Sengewald play 3rd base. She is a "ballplayer" in the truest sense of the word.

And finally, if the underdog is something you look for (although Northwestern has been playing that role with Michigan in the conference as long as I've been here), how about "The Little Engine That Could" story of Ashley Crane. The Washington native came here as a starter, but ended up a role player for 2 years and is now the every day second baseman. She's a player you can't help but root for because of her positive attitude and friendly personality. Oh yeah, she hit a HR in the first game of the year against Oregon State, had the game winning hit against UCLA, and hit home runs in the Big Ten Tourney against Illinois and in the NCAA Regionals against Notre Dame.

Like the title says, there is something for everyone, be sure to listen to all the Softball action on WNUR this weekend and hopefully all these personalities will add up to a trip to Oklahoma City...Go Cats!

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