I spent a couple weekends at Northwestern soaking in the last bits of softball for this year. Northwestern's Fall Ball is always a fun time, giving fans a chance to get a preview of the next season.
The Wildcats had a good and exciting season in 2018. They had a nice run in the NCAA playoffs. A few years back, I never imagined watching a collegiate women's softball team on television, yet there I was cheering on Team Purple.
Fall Ball 2018 featured 6 games, although one was rained out. The games are exhibition, but obviously are important to the players.
The 2019 Wildcats will have 3 returning seniors, infielder Lily Novak, infielder Morgan Nelson and pitcher Haley Winegarner. There will also be 8 first year players.
Those "rookies" probably benefit most from these Fll Ball games. It is a chance for them to showcase their skills a bit, while getting a feel for the field and the dynamics of Northwestern University.
The 2019 season starts in February, but the first month or so are away games. They finally start playing home games in mid-March and play through mid-May, with the playoffs wrapping up at the end of May (just as the Chicago Bandits to start playing).
I will be "On the Beat" next season and I really am looking forward to it. It's always a bit cold, but the signs of spring are there and softball always warms up the crowd.
Check out NUSports.com for more info on the NU Wildcats softball team. You can also check here for recurring coverage.
Maegan Hollins, Haley Winegarner and me in Evanston, IL-October 2018.