By Theo Bilski
One pitcher, 14 innings. A grueling task for anyone asked to perform it. And yet, this is a task that was asked of the Macalester softball pitching staff many times this season.
Morghan Bean ’18, Sophie Migacz ’19, and Makaya Resner ’19 are the three pitchers for the Macalester softball team. Each specializes in a different form of pitching. Resner throws fast, up to 64 miles per hour when she’s healthy; an average pitch is around 60 miles per hour. Bean is a junk ball pitcher, meaning she throws balls that drop down deceptively, and change ups, which are balls that look like a fastball but actually go much slower. Migacz pitches curve balls, which are balls that start on the side of a pitcher’s throwning arm and mve away; rise balls, which are balls that appear to be curving upwards but are actually just falling slower than normal; and screw balls, which move in the opposite direction of curve balls.
This pitching group has not been healthy for the majority of the season. Most collegiate level softball teams have around four or five pitchers in their rotation; Macalester only has three. And the three pitchers have not all been healthy together for the whole season. Bean had elbow issues, Migacz broke her finger and Resner has had knee problems. At one point, Migacz says she was pitching on a sprained ankle for three weeks. Resner says it has been tough to play with only two pitchers healthy at a time.
“We could have hit conferences a little stronger,” Resner said when asked if she thought if the small pitching rotation and injuries affected their season. Despite only having two healthy pitchers at a time for most of the season, these three pitchers have performed well. Bean and Migacz could be asked to pitch up to 14 innings in one day if there is a double header and the other pitchers are injured or if strategy demands it. In spite of this increased workload the team is 18-14 overall (6-8 MIAC). Both pitchers have had statistically incredible seasons; Bean has an ERA of 2.46, while Migacz has posted 1.70. “I’m proud of my pitching,” says Migacz.
Softball’s MIAC schedule provides little relief. Their final eight games come against St. Olaf, St. Catherine, St. Benedict, and Gustavus Adolphus. All four teams have winning records, and the worst conference record amongst the group is Gustavus’ still-respectable 6-6. Nonetheless, a berth to the MIAC’s four-team playoff is still attainable. Macalester sits at eighth in the standings, but as of press time, no team has a guaranteed playoff spot.
Next year, these three pitchers are going to get some relief. Between two and five freshman pitchers are coming to Macalester for the 2018 season, which will bolster the rotation and give the current pitchers a bit of rest next season. Resner will be studying abroad for the upcoming season, but Bean and Migacz are relieved that they will be getting some backup. “We are so excited!” Bean said about the influx of new pitchers. These three pitchers definitely deserve some rest.