HARTFORD, S.D. (KELO) — The West Central softball team has gotten off to a hot start this season with a 8-0 record thanks to a 16-0 win over Flandreau Thursday.
West Central has pitched shutouts in seven of its first eight games and has allowed just four runs all season. The Trojans have given up 12 hits, while striking out 69. That success stems from their pitching tandem of juniors Caitlyn Hoff and Emillee Stofferahn.
“It’s amazing,” Hoff said. “I know when she gets a game, I can trust her in the circle. I know if I’m pitching, I can trust her behind me. And just knowing that we have each other is just a really big part. Like say if she’s getting hit off of or anything, I can come in and step in and vice versa is just really powerful.”
“It’s so important, knowing that I can rely on her and I can rely on my defense to back us up,” Stofferahn said. “Like if one of us is off, the other one can come back in and help us out.”
“That gives us a lot of opportunities,” head coach Heather Harden said. “I know I can trust either one of them on any given day. And if something’s not working for one, the other one can just step right in honestly. And even better than that, we have a great defense behind them.”
Offensively, the Trojans have been dominant as well, scoring over 100 runs and batting north of .400. They credit their power at the plate to their work at practice as well as hitters relaying information to those next in the lineup.
While the Trojans point to those tactical aspects of the game for their success, there’s a deeper meaning that stretches far beyond this field.
“As a coach, you step back and you watch the dynamic as they come to practice,” Harden said. “What are their demeanors. How are they, and they come in groups. There’s rarely a solo coming in. They come together as a group.”
“We really got to trust our teammates and we just have a really good team bond,” Hoff said. “So on the softball field, we like to show that, and I feel like the trust amongst the other people is really high.”
West Central has four more games on the schedule in the regular season.