Trailing 3-1 in the top of the seventh inning against East Central College on Wednesday (April 1), the Archers would need a spark to avoid dropping below .500 for the year.
That spark came in the form of a pair of walks, followed by a booming, three-run home run by freshman Abbey Holtkamp. That home run propelled the Archers to a 4-3 win in the opener, followed by a 6-0 win in Game 2. Holtkamp added a second home run—her third of the season—in the nightcap.
“Trailing going into the top of the seventh inning, to get two girls on with walks and for her to do that, that’s the lift we needed,” head coach Brad Wilson said.
Holtkamp, who was a forward on the STLCC women’s basketball team this past winter, wasn’t even a planned addition to the softball program this year. Just two weeks prior to the regular season, she approached Wilson and participated in a team workout. Her showing was impressive enough to earn her a roster spot, and she’s since become the Archers’ top power threat.
Holtkamp has added extra-base punch to a lineup that appeared to be defined by speed and contact at the outset of the season. Those aspects are certainly still in play, with a team average of .319 entering Wednesday’s games. Still, Wilson sees a significant gap between the lineup’s current production and its potential.
“This (production) is what we had hoped for, but to be honest, I don’t feel like we’ve hit our stride yet,” Wilson said. “We’ve had a couple girls who we know can hit, and haven’t come all the way around yet.”
Wednesday’s sweep over East Central helped to wipe away the frustration of just a night previous, when STLCC lost a pair of games to Mineral Area College.
“I was pretty hard on them last night for their performance, and they came out and really performed well this evening,” Wilson said.
The Archers will get to remember Wednesday’s showing for a few days, as they will be off until Monday, April 7, when they host a doubleheader against Three Rivers College. First pitch is at 2 p.m. at the Meramec campus.