For some, a 2-10 stretch at the conclusion of a regular season could serve as a signal of caution as the St. Louis Community College softball team nears postseason play. Archers head softball coach Brad Wilson, however, rejects that notion outright.
“I don’t think there’s a team in there that’s any tougher than us in the region,” Wilson said. “We’ll get out on the practice field Monday and work on some things we need to correct, but we’ve played some tough competition in recent weeks.”
Wilson’s confidence is not without cause.
The Archers (16-22) boast one of the best 1-3 lineup combos in the area, consisting of freshmen Abbey Holtkamp and Kelsey Brodbeck, as well as sophomore Sarah Strothkamp. Each of the three is batting above .350, with Brodbeck hitting a team-best .427. Holtkamp and Strothkamp have combined for all eight of the Archers’ home runs this spring, with Holtkamp supplying six.
“Abbey Holtkamp has been doing a wonderful job, and Abby Wilson has been coming around, as well,” Wilson said of his freshman catcher, who enters the weekend batting .293. “She’s caught every game but one, and that’s a lot to ask of a freshman. We still have one or two players who we’d like to see come around, but we like (where we are).”
The Archers will open the Region XVI Tournament at noon on Friday at Meramec against East Central College. This year has been a memorable one for STLCC against their regional opponent. In the two teams’ first meeting of the season, on April 1, the Archers emerged with a 4-3, come-from-behind victory on the strength of a seventh-inning, three-run homer from Holtkamp.
STLCC built upon that momentum to win five of eight in a week’s span.
“It’s always been a tough game with them,” Wilson said. “They’re a good team, but we’re evenly matched and we’re going to be ready for that one. “