HELENA — Starting on Friday, the Carroll College softball team will play 12 games and drive 2,900 miles across approximately nine days.
Helena to Caldwell, Idaho (Two games against College of Idaho, two games against Eastern Oregon): 511 miles (1,022-mile round trip)
The Fighting Saints will open their season in Caldwell, Idaho, with two non-conference series against the College of Idaho and Eastern Oregon. While the season is starting off at a rapid pace, Carroll College senior outfielder Brooke Brewer believes it may be a positive thing after last season's abrupt end.
“We're not just like easing into this, like we usually do every year where we play some non-conference games and then go straight into conference,” said Brewer. “It’s kind of just like jumping into the deep end -- like, let's just go right at it and see where we go from here.”
Helena to Billings (Four games against MSU Billings): 240 miles (480-mile round trip)
While the Fighting Saints are excited to get under way, COVID-19 is still prevalent and a potential worry with the amount of travel the team is set to do. Carroll head coach Aaron Jackson has faith in the athletic program's testing protocols.
“We test every Tuesday, and so we'll return back from a trip, we'll test again," said Jackson. "Pretty safe that when we get on a bus or a mode of transportation that we're COVID free as a team, and when we get back, we get an answer within 12 hours.”
Helena to Salem, Oregon (Four conference games against Corban University): 710 miles (1,420-mile round trip)
Jackson noted the mode of transportation to the Saints' Cascade Conference opener in Salem, Oregon, against the Corban Warriors is to be determined. But before they get to that point the Saints will have eight non-conference games under their belts. With nearly a year between games against outside competition, Jackson is excited at the prospect to tinker with the lineup.
“We have a little bigger roster and a deep roster, so it's going to allow us the time to get some individuals innings and games," said Jackson. "Being non-conference, we're not so concerned on, per se, the outcome. Obviously, you want to win those and do that, but it's all preparing for the Cascade Conference season.”
Helena to Caldwell: 1,022 miles
Helena to Billings: 480 miles
Helena to Salem: 1,420 miles
TOTAL: 2,922 miles
The Carroll College Fighting Saints will open their season in Caldwell on Feb. 27 against the College of Idaho and Eastern Oregon.