HELENA — While the Fighting Saints might be 1-4 in conference play (4-11 overall), spirits are not low. In fact, many players on the roster, especially the pitching staff, believe they have a lot of potential as they navigate through this Cascade Conference season.
“Our team has an incredible amount of potential, we have a very young team. We have great work ethic on our team, and as a freshman pitcher, it's really cool to have other pitchers to look up to and to work hard to be able to come in and have their backs like they have mine,” said McKenna Bessette.
Four players have pitched for the Fighting Saints this season and only one of them is a junior, Josie Barker, who took the hill for the first time in four years this past Saturday. Barker noted while she wasn't recruited to pitch, she felt like it was another way she could contribute this season.
“With COVID and injuries, if anything were to happen, I just thought maybe," said Barker. "I was talking to my roommate who was a catcher over [Winter] break, and then I was kind of like, well, like maybe I could do this if we ever needed someone or needed a backup or things like that.”
The Saturday that Barker took the mound was also the Fighting Saints' second straight season with at least a March home opener. Something that many players believe is a plus as they take on this year.
"It's actually very nice. It's an advantage for all of us too because we get to do our own thing like go to bed in our own bed. We don't have to be up and drive on a bus forever, and we just all have each other here. We get everyone to support us here," said sophomore pitcher Abby Hanley.
While the Fighting Saints did just have their first homestand, that comfort will be shortlived as they head to Kirkland, Washington where they hope to even their record on the year with a series sweep of the Northwestern University Eagles starting this Saturday.