UWSP softball pitches towards success

Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 6:58 PM CDT
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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) - Despite boasting a lack of experience entering this year, UWSP softball sits in third place in the WIAC. Behind their rotation, they continue to dominate WIAC opponents.

As of Wednesday, the staff was ranked third in the conference in ERA and they were tops in strikeouts

“Our pitching staff is incredibly strong,” Freshman pitcher MacKenzie Honish said.

The four arms boast different looks for opponents, forcing them to adjust with each new pitcher

“All of our pitching styles are completely different. So every time a different pitcher comes in, batters are thrown off,” Sophomore and ace of the staff Makenna Tkach said.

They say there is strength in numbers, but the four starters had a combined 16 collegiate games pitched entering this year.

“It may not seem on paper like they have a lot of experience, but they’ve come from winning programs. [Honish]was a winner in high school, [Tkach] was amazing in high school,” head coach Ryan Konitzer said.

Tkach and Honish have been the two arms that Konitzer has trusted the most.

Sophomore Makenna Tkach has already proven that she’s the ace of the staff. She’s pitched 72 of their 124 innings.

“I like that responsibility, and you’re part of every play and the defense looks up at you,” Tkach said.

Through 17 games. Tkach has a 1.74 ERA.

“Her temperaments amazing on the mound. She never gets rattled, not going to lie, I’m sure inside at times but she never shows it,” Konitzer said.

Once she’s done, the soft-tossing starter hands the ball to the flamethrowing reliever Honish.

“I come in after [Tkach] just to pound the strike zone and put the ball where it needs to be”

“It’s nice to have Konosh come in, change it up, and Teek can always come back in,” Konitzer said.

The duo has given WIAC opponents nightmares all season.

“They’re usually just starting to see me a little bit better and then [Honish] comes in and they don’t see the ball very well,” Tkach said.

“After [Tkach] throws, she normally puts us in a really good position. She normally finishes her innings, she makes it easier to come in and have a fresh start,” Honish added.

96 of the Pointers 124 innings have come of the two right arms, bringing leadership to a young staff.

The team has a 13-6 record for now, with their eye on the future.

“It makes it really exciting for the rest of this year and really exciting in the coming years,” Konitzer said

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