The women’s softball team went head-to-head with St. Norbert in a nail biting turn of events. The Vikings lost their first game 4-9, but pulled out a win against St. Norbert in the second game at 6-5. In the first game the Vikings were winning, but then gave up 7 runs in the 4th inning and were not able to bounce back from that. However, in the second game, the Vikings were leading the majority of the game and it became more consistent. When the Knights tied the game in the bottom of the 5th inning, Lawrence, this time, was able to react to that and pull out another hit in the sixth, where they then held them for two more innings to secure the victory.
One of the Vikings who really stood out during this double header against St. Norbert was senior Amanda Karnatz, who led the team in hitting as well as in defense, helping to secure the win. I interviewed Karnatz to ask her a few questions about the game.
I asked, “You got two out of the last three outs needed to secure the win against St. Norbert. What was going through your mind in the last inning of the game? Do you do anything to help calm your nerves?”
Karnatz responded, “All that was going through my mind the last inning was that we needed outs. I was going to do whatever I could to make that happen. I don’t really do anything to calm my nerves, I just go out there and try my best.”
In the second game, Karnatz was able to hit 3 out of your 4 at bats. Seeing as she was so successful at hitting that game, I wondered what she might call key in adjusting to a new pitcher, what she looks for and what tactics she uses to avoid getting fazed.
According to Karnatz, “I think the key to adjusting to a new pitcher is to learn quick and take what I can from what I see. The best thing is to stay within yourself and capitalize on any opportunity the pitcher gives you. The best way to not get fazed by anyone is to just go up to the plate and take your swings, and don’t let the pitcher make you feel uncomfortable.”
Lastly, I asked Karnatz what it’s like to bat as a lefty. Does she find it challenging? If so, how does she adjust to that challenge, and what advantages does she find in batting lefty instead of righty?
Karnatz told me, “Hitting left handed was more challenging for me when I first started. I switched to hitting left handed at 10 years old when I was normally right handed before that. I just adjusted to left handed hitting by getting lots and lots of practice. The biggest strength I have on the left side is having so many options. I can hit away, bunt, slap or power slap. Having that many options allows me to use a different tool whenever I need to.”
I think it’s interesting to find out that Amanda didn’t start off as a lefty. Normally that’s not something people do, and myself I just switched and learned how to bat lefty. In my experience, it takes time to get adjusted to the new directional motion of your swing, but it is advantageous considering we get to be a little closer to first base!
Next I talked with Coach Cromer about this double header against St. Norbert to try and understand what went differently about these games, because, like most athletes know, no one game is ever the same. I asked Cromer what she found to be the game changer that made the Vikings successful compared to the first game they played against the Knights.
“The biggest difference between game 1 and game 2 was we capitalized on a few more opportunities offensively, and kept ourselves from giving up a really big inning defensively,” said Cromer. “We also kept our energy level up even after giving up a few runs in game 2 which I believe made a big difference.”
From these results, it’s clear to see that the Vikings are improving and turning out to be a real competitor this season in the midwest conference. Can’t wait to see what they do next — more about their journey next week!