Holmes Blog: Consistency tough to find in spring high school sports
Getting pretty close to the end of the regular season in spring high school sports and thought I’d give a few thoughts on what I’m seeing out there.
Consistency is something that has been hard for some teams to find. Take the Wausau West baseball and softball teams. I get a chance to see the Warriors alot in doing play-by-play of their games on 1230 The Voice and 1230wxco.com. The West softball team had a big high last Friday when they ended Stevens Point’s 93 game Wisconsin Valley Conference winning streak with a 5-3 triumph at Zenoff Park. However, before and after that win has been a struggle for the Warriors. The game before was a disappointing 6-1 loss to D. C. Everest that had significance in both the conference race and for possible post-season seeding. Then after Friday’s big win, West lost two of three games at a tourney in Pulaski on Saturday and then fell to Rhinelander and Merrill on Monday and Tuesday, respectively. As good as the “up” versus SPASH, the “downs” immediately before and after have to be frustrating to coach Janna Hillman and the team.
I’ve seen the same ups and downs with the West baseball team. From handing Marshfield their only league loss of the season to letting a six run sixth inning lead get away at Wausau East, “inconsistency” has been the watch word for coach Pete Susens’ team. Even this week, an ugly 8-1 loss to SPASH on Monday is followed by a 10 run, 5 inning win at Merrill on Tuesday. Finding that ability to play at their best every game will be vital to both West teams when the playoffs begin.
On the other side of the coin are a few teams that have found consistency. It’s not new for the Marathon baseball team to be consistent and Steve Warren’s team is doing that again this season. After a couple of non-conference bumps in the road early, Marathon is on their way to another Marawood-South title with a perfect 11-0 league mark. Solid fundamental baseball has been a touchstone in recent years for the Red Raiders and that has led to consistent success.
Both Marshfield and SPASH in the WVC have also shown solid play throughout the season. Both the Panthers and Tigers are 7-1 in the league and ranked in the top ten in the state. With solid pitching, hitting, and defense I wouldn’t be surprised to see either or both teams make deep runs in the playoffs.
Baseball and softball teams have about two weeks to go in the regular season. Being able to establish solid, consistent play will be keys to being ready for the playoffs.