Cougars Roll With the Punches

Story by Dakota Case

After a long, cold South Dakota winter, University of Sioux Falls students are excited for spring sports.

However, it hasn’t all been sunshine and daisies. Fields that are now dry and perfect were covered in a few inches of snow and ice only a few days previous. For USF senior softball pitcher Amanda Walters, it’s just another day in the life of a spring sports athlete.

“It gets a little hard coming off of winter seasons,” said Walters. “We did go to Florida for a week so that kind of helps us get with the weather a little bit. But, it’s always hard to get used to the weather here.”

When bad weather strikes at practice time, USF’s lady Cougars simply make the switch to Plan B.

“Basically, we’re in the gym,” Walters continued. “We hit off the Tee a lot, we do a lot of hitting we try to get our infielders pop flies or throws to bases as much as we can in the gym we do as much as we can in the gym when we can’t get outside.”

However, not only has the weather affected team practice, it’s also made for some interesting game days.

“We’ve played a couple of games where we’ve had miracles done to the fields. Like an hour before the game they’re still getting done and getting prepped and stuff. We just go with the flow and let the coaches focus on getting the field ready for us and we just focus on playing and going and getting the [win].”

As long as conditions are manageable, nothing will stop these athletes from competing.

“Be prepared for everything,” Walters advises. “Bring your layers—just be prepared for everything. You never know what you’re going to get.”

Like a box of chocolates, you never know what a new spring South Dakota day will bring. But with temperatures consistently rising into the 50s, 60s and 70s, it looks like it’s smooth sailing from here. Let’s play some ball.