Softball team seeks to improve every day

Joseph Dorschel, Sports Editor

The Madison Area Technical College softball team got off to a slow start during a recent trip to Arizona for spring training. During the almost week long trip, the team compiled an overall record of one win and nine losses. According to coach Leo Kalinowski, problems on defense contributed to the lack of success for the team.

“Hitting we didn’t have a problem. We played some strong competition,” Kalinowski said.

Kalinowski, who is in his first year as the softball coach, also coached the baseball team in the ‘90s. In 12 seasons, Kalinowski had an overall record of 414 wins and 169 losses and recorded three consecutive NJCAA Division III national titles. He has the highest winning percentage for a baseball coach in the history of the program at the college. He was also inducted into the college’s Hall of Fame in 2007.

Heading into the regular season games, Kalinowski is optimistic about the team. While he believes the team is improving, he is also impressed by their work ethic. According to the coach, the chemistry between the players is good and they are fun to be around.

“They really pull for each other. They don’t get discouraged,” Kalinowski said.

One of the goals for the team this season is to be competitive in the conference. Kalinowski believes that an important focus is to get better everyday and improve. During the recent trip, players who doubted their abilities got plenty of chances to play and develop their skills.

Since Kalinowski was hired late last year, there wasn’t a period of recruiting for the coaching staff. Regardless of that, the coaching staff is currently out researching and recruiting all the time, according to Kalinowski.

The expected number of players recruited for the next recruiting class will be 20 to 25 prospective athletes. The coach hopes to have two players for each position.

Kalinowski is confident that the team will reach the goal of improving and getting to top form. According to him it will happen, “it is just a matter of time.” The team is coming off a 2010 season where they posted eight wins and 26 losses.

The team’s first game since the spring trip to Arizona, an away game against Joliet Junior College was canceled. Instead, they will play their first post-spring training game away against Harper College on March 26 in Palantine, IL. The home opener for the WolfPack will be April 8 against the College of DuPage. The game will mark the beginning of a four game homestead for the team.