By Samantha Gillis
After splitting games with third place Ottawa University and seventh place Tabor College, the Builder softball team looked to win both games against St. Mary Tuesday evening. A win would ensure a leap over Kansas Wesleyan University for fifth in conference placing on Tuesday evening.
Although results were not available before press time, before the game St. Mary had a 2-12 record and sat last in the conference rankings.The Builders were 7-7 in conference and 9-3 at home.
During the Tabor games, the women won 10-2 in the first and lost 14-6 in the second game. The Builders out hit the Bluejays 15-2 in the first game, but in the second game their performances were comparable. Builders only out hit them by one, 15-14. Neither team had any errors. Both had 15 put outs. But the Builders are looking to step it up against the Spires.
Kaylee Hicks, junior infielder, said, “We know going into the St. Mary games that we can beat them, but we still have to come out and play like we know how.”
Sara Blackburn, freshman outfielder, said, “We need to stay tight on defense and put points up on the board and back up our pitchers.”
The games not only mark the end of a season—with only the conference tournament to go—it marks the end of two players’ careers: Morgan Stacy, senior outfielder, and Nicole Wilson, senior utilities. Stacy was the designated hitter for many games but also stood out in the outfield. For the majority of Wilson’s first three years she played second base and occasionally short stop, but this year she has stepped up to fill the center field position.
Throughout Stacy’s SC career she has racked up 209 at bats, 50 hits, 28 runs, and 39 RBIs. Wilson has tallied up, 461 at bats, 123 hits, 70 runs, and 34 RBIs. In the field Wilson has 415 catches and 202 put outs over 135 games.
Both players will be missed by their teammates. Hicks has played with them for three years. She said, “I admire that they have both been through some tough times during their careers, but have still stuck it out and never quit.”
Hicks said she had some great memories with both players but her favorite memory isn’t just a single memory. “All of my favorite memories with both of them are just the random things that they say on a daily basis. I am really going to miss the bizarre comments they make.”
Blackburn has a specific memory. She said, “Morgan brought her, ‘235 ways to say Good Job.’ It was a paper and she printed them all out for practice. It was just a bunch of random ways to say good job, and it was a lot of fun.”
Both players have taught Hicks valuable lessons. “Morgan [Stacy] has taught me a lot of new words, but I also really appreciate all of the ground balls she has hit to me for extra practice throughout the years. Nicole [Wilson] has showed me that I can be a leader without having to say a word.”
As a freshman, Blackburn admired how the two didn’t try to put the incoming players down and belittle them. “They back up the team do it well, and don’t have a snobby attitude toward incoming freshman. They are there to help rather than degrade.”
Both players may be leaving, but Hicks and Blackburn can attest that the lessons Wilson and Stacy taught them will carry into the next season.
Blackburn said, “Always being there for each other, backing each other up and picking each other up. The things you don’t necessarily think about, but it really does help.”
Hicks agreed. She said, “They have contributed great leadership skills and hard work every time they step out onto the field.”
The Builders will play in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament on May 4 and 5 at Twin Rivers Complex in Wichita.
Samantha Gillis is a senior majoring in convergent journalism. You may e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.