Bouncing back: PV baseball and softball look to continue their successful streaks as the season approaches

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Dawn Mumey

The PV baseball team punched their ticket to state after beating Iowa City Liberty last season

Matt Mickle, PV Only Editor

After Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds announced that baseball and softball would be able to play during the uproar of COVID-19 last summer, the Pleasant Valley baseball and softball teams took the opportunity and made the most of it.

With all spring sports being cancelled due to the pandemic just a few months prior to the start of baseball season, the PV boys and girls never envisioned themselves playing in the state tournament just a few months later, yet that’s exactly where they ended up. 

The Spartans expected a cancellation due to the rapidly spreading pandemic and had nearly lost all hope to play, but this did not cause them to give up. With very little time to prepare, both the boys and girls punched their tickets to the state tournament.

For the softball team, punching their ticket to play in Fort Dodge seems like it has become a habit over the last few years. The softball team has had three state trips in the last four years, two of those trips resulted in them bringing home a state championship trophy.

However, the same can not be said for the boys. Before last season, the boys had not been to the state tournament since 2003, the year a majority of the players on last year’s team were born. After finishing the regular season slightly over .500, the boys made a run at the state tournament where they were knocked out in the quarterfinals by the Ankeny Hawks.

After finishing the season on a strong note and returning seven of nine starters from last year’s squad, the boys are projected to win the Mississippi Athletic Conference (MAC) this coming season according to the preseason rankings. 

Senior Seth Clausen, a Minnesota baseball commit and the top pitching option for the Spartans is excited to see how this year unfolds. “We showed what we can do last year after making it to the state tournament with very little time to prepare for the year. We have a great group of guys with a lot of talent that I think can put together a very successful season,” Clausen explained.

Although they did make history last season, Clausen doesn’t plan to settle there. “It was definitely a great experience but we are still hungry and we are going to keep fighting to bring home a state championship,” he expressed.

The girls had an unexpected outstanding season last year. After losing a few stars, the team’s success was in question yet they did not let that define them. The girls made another run at the state tournament where they were knocked out in the quarterfinals by Cedar Rapids Kennedy, who would eventually go on to win the state tournament.

The softball team is looking to continue to build onto their legacy and make another run at the state tournament this year.

Senior Emily Wood, who plans to continue her softball career at Iowa State University next year has been on varsity since she was an eighth grader, meaning she has been on the team for all three state trips in the last four years.

After winning two state championships, then not making it to state, then losing in the first round at state the next year has motivated Wood for her senior season. “There’s no feeling like winning a state championship. That feeling tops everything and I don’t want to settle with where we’ve finished the last two years. I want to be a state champ one more time,” Wood said.

Both teams plan to keep their momentum moving forward into the upcoming season and hope to make another trip to the state tournament.