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The Clarion

The Student News Site of Bethel University

The Clarion

The Student News Site of Bethel University

The Clarion

Another Bethel comeback

Bethel University’s women’s softball team competed in a doubleheader home game against St. Catherine University, taking home two victories.
Emma Carmichael
Fifth-year Kayla Simacek has been playing softball since childhood. Pitching is Simacek’s passion — she loves the sport because of her coach and the team that’s become her family. Despite a few losses this season, the team still picks each other up and gets right back on track. “I think it was good that it happened in the middle of the season,” Simacek said, “Because we can fight through a little bit of adversity and come back stronger.”

In the bottom of the sixth inning with two outs, Autumn Earney stole home to secure another win for the Royals during the softball team’s second of Thursday’s doubleheaders. 

The team fought to bring home the victory last weekend, raising the stakes of Thursday’s matchup against St. Catherine. Bethel won the first game 13-2 in five innings and the second 4-1 in seven innings. Each game included a homerun from utility player and pitcher Abby Otterness, earning two runs in the first game and three in the second. 

“We had to make up for last weekend. It was a punch in the gut,” junior infielder Earney said. “Today’s game really turned the page, and we wanted to come out fresh. A lot of our issues last weekend were hits, and today we came out swinging with nothing to lose.”

Bethel was able to turn the game around, aided in part by their energetic players on the bench. Softball is notorious for loud dugouts, yelling as players rattle off common cheers such as “Chug-chug-a-two-two” for number 22 — freshman Camryn Thurow — or “Lexi is the bus driver, the bus driver today! She drives all night, and she drives all day” for number 27, sixth year Lexi DeBace.

Junior Autumn Earney came and provided for her team with a smile on her face April 18. Earney loves coming to each game with her game face on, ready to support her teammates. “It definitely incorporates itself in the games,” Earney said. “Because everyone’s cheering, everyone’s loud and when we’re loud, we’re winning.” (Emma Carmichael)

Some of the cheers are from players’ childhoods, while others are inspired by TikTok or other teams. The team cheers for individual players while hitting, and for the pitchers and catchers when the Royals are in the field. It draws smiles from the players and brings energy not only to the game, but to the spectators.

In recent years, the Royals have produced multiple award-winning players. Fifth-year pitcher Kayla Simacek is known throughout the nation as one of the best Division III pitchers. Last season, Simacek was named an NFCA/NCAA Division III Pitcher of the Year and NFCA All-American, and she has already earned MIAC Pitcher of the Week three times this season. 

“[Being on this team has] taught me to be me and to be comfortable with myself,” Simacek said. “Everybody on the team has their little quirky qualities.”

During the first game, Earney went two for three at the plate and earned one run. In the second game, she got on base every at-bat. At the bottom of the sixth, she stole third and then scored off an error when the Wildcats’ third baseman threw the ball to first base and hit the first baseman bringing her down. During the fifth inning of the second game, Earney caught a fly ball after drop-stepping to left-center, earning an out. Later in the fifth, she handled a line drive and threw to second base to earn the third out of the inning.

The Royals took on Concordia College in Moorhead Saturday maintaining their winning streak.

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