Keene State College’s baseball and softball teams said two is not always better than one, as there are both advantages and disadvantages of playing doubleheader games.
Not only are doubleheaders physically challenging, they also affect players mentally. Junior Molly St. Germain said, “Doubleheaders prove which teams are the most physically fit and mentally prepared. Doubleheaders can be emotionally and mentally exhausting for players because the first game could go in one direction and the second game could be completely different. You never know what you are going to get until the game starts.” St. Germain compared the doubleheader games to a chess match and said, “You are always trying to be one step ahead of your opponent.”
Taking things one step at a time is the tactic that Head Baseball Coach Ken Howe likes to go by. “Whether it’s a doubleheader or a single game, we try to take it one game at a time. After every game, doubleheader or not, we talk about what we could’ve done better. We try to make adjustments mentally and physically, whether it is 30 minutes later or four days later, when we play again,” Howe said.
Head Coach Howe also has expectations for the baseball team. “For the rest of the season, I hope that the weather will change. I also want the guys going out and competing everyday, whether it’s competition in practice to earn more playing time or competing with opponents that we happen to be facing that day,” Howe said.
Head Softball Coach Carrah Fisk Hennessey said her team has a different approach. She said it usually “switches up the lineups” after playing the first game because, she said, “We go into [the second game] with information we can gather from statistics and pieces of game film… We know more about our opposition, and, ideally, that information leads us to attacking.”
When it comes to coaching athletes, all coaches work to have each of their athletes reach his or her potential as an individual. Hennessey said, “It’s my job to coach every student-athlete on my team the way that reaches them best. It changes based on what each player brings to the field, inning by inning and out by out.”
She added, “Regardless of if it is the first or second game of a doubleheader, coaching decisions change and are made in the moment.”
“Doubleheaders absolutely require a certain amount of energy, team focus and individual commitment. If we notice that players aren’t bringing their end of the deal to the table, they won’t play,” Hennessey said.
Even through all the exhaustion a doubleheader can sometimes bring, senior Olivia Indorf said it is worth it to play as much as you can of the sport you love with your team.
Indorf said her motivation derives from “wanting to do well for the team, so that [they] can be successful.”
Indorf added, “The second game has a lot to do with how we play the first game, so if you play really well in the first game, the motivation is there to keep that going for the second… and if you don’t perform well, it can also ration and feed into wanting to do well in the second game and turn things around.”
Weather permitting, doubleheaders will continue and the spring season will go on.
Both KSC’s baseball and softball teams are looking up and have high hopes for the rest of their 2018 seasons. Softball’s St. Germain said for her team, she hopes it will “get on a hot streak” and win some more conference and non-conference games.
“I hope to go into LEC playoffs and just show everyone that Keene State Softball is here to play and win LECs,” St. Germain said.
Julia Eichman can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org