Joey Peterson —
Every team in sports has at least one phrase or saying that describes what the team is ultimately striving towards or what they want to accomplish. For the University of Wisconsin–Stout’s softball team, that phrase is to get one percent better each day.
“I challenge our players to continue to improve daily,” said first year head coach Becky Iaccino. “I call it the one percent effect. Each day we come out to the field we have to get one percent better.”
That phrase is echoed by Iaccino’s players: “We work every day to get one percent better,” said Alicia Meyer (Fr. Brooklyn Park, Minn.). “We are still climbing to our peak and are improving day by day. No one is satisfied with yesterday”.
Head Coach Iaccino is happy with how her team has played, but still challenges them to get one percent better each day. “They have stepped up to my challenge in every component of the game,” said Iaccino.
Another word that can be used to describe the Blue Devils softball team is scrappy. “I told the team in our team goals meeting that I wanted to be known as a scrappy team,” said Iaccino. “A major strength of our team is our ability to fight until they tell us to stop.”
Additionally, a trait that makes a good team great is their chemistry on and off the diamond. “The chemistry on our team is something to be recognized,” said Kaylee Francois (Fr. Green Bay, Wis.). “All of us girls get along so well and it definitely shows out on the field.”
Rachel Thomas (So. Hastings, Minn.) also added, “Being such good friends on and off the field allows us to mesh really well together when we are actually playing.” The team togetherness has led to an 8-6 start. The bulk of those games were played in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where the Blue Devils played twelve games in seven days.
There were many highlights and memorable moments in South Carolina. “We had already lost to two different teams and we played both teams again and ended up coming back and winning,” said Tori Workman (Sr. Prior Lake, Minn.), “It was a great feeling to overcome the previous loss to the teams and find a way to fight for a win.”
Next up for the UW–Stout softball team is the conference portion of the schedule, and with that comes a goal of first making the conference tournament. “I believe we have all of the tools we need to make this goal a reality,” said Francois. “I’m excited to see where this season will take us.”
After reaching postseason play for conference, the Blue Devils hope to play in the national postseason. “We are continuing to climb and reach our peak, so when we get to the conference tournament we will be able to do well and make it to the national tournament,” said Thomas.
Coach Iaccino expanded on the goal to not only make postseason play, but be in a good position to advance. “Of course every team says they want to make it to the conference tournament,” said Iaccino. “But our team looks beyond that and the goals for this year is to host the conference tournament and continue on into postseason play.”
The Blue Devils continue to strive to get one percent better each day. “We all have worked so hard and continue to do so, focusing on the fundamentals and getting one percent better each day will help us reach these goals,” said Workman “I think this team is fully capable of achieving these aspirations.