ADM baseball, softball teams see early season success

Megan Teske
Correspondent
The ADM baseball team watches the action on Wednesday, May 26 during a home contest against Carroll.

Summer sports have kicked off for ADM, with softball and baseball both getting their seasons underway with similar success.

The ADM baseball team started its season with a 2-2 record, while the softball team is currently sitting at a 7-1 record.

Both teams started practicing May 3 and both coaches said the start of the season has gone well for them.

The baseball team had quite a few guys still playing in spring sports with state competitions going on, so head coach Jason Book said it has given the younger guys on the team a chance to step up and show what they can do.

Book said last year a lot of guys were pulled up so they’ve all been around each other and have suited up for varsity, and now whoever gets put into the lineup, Book said they just do their thing and play.

Softball head coach Lindsay Stanford said she was expecting a strong start to the softball season, even with the loss of many seniors, because of the girls’ mentality and work ethic.

“It’s never going to be a rebuilding year, our thought that we’re going into this year is just reloading,” Stanford said.

ADM's Kaylee Smith is ready to field the ball during a home contest on Wednesday, May 26.

Having high expectations of her team is how Stanford plans to keep the momentum going for the rest of the season.

Baseball and softball were two sports that were able to play last season in spite of the pandemic.

Even though things are constantly changing with COVID-19, Stanford said it didn’t change anything for the team and the kids are still going to play whatever way they can.

“Their eagerness to get to practice and their want to compete against each other and against other teams has just kind of picked up where we left off last year,” Book added.

Besides having great attitudes, Book said everyone is supportive of each other, which is helpful as the team still works to improve.

Book said the team still needs to do more work on the pitching mound and hitting, but he added that hitting will come as the season goes on. Pitching and defense will be the determining factors in how far they go in the postseason, Book said.

Grant Jansen on the mound for the Tigers on Wednesday, May 26.

Pitching is something Stanford said was a strength for her team, as the Tigers have three different starting pitchers they rely on and should be ready any given night.

However, Stanford said one challenge they have is getting the younger girls comfortable with stepping up and knowing their role and position.

Looking ahead to the rest of the season, both coaches are looking forward to seeing how well their players do.

“They’re just a lot of fun to coach and be around and I’m really looking forward to seeing what we can mature into as a team and see how far we can get,” Book said.

As for the schedule, ADM is part of the Raccoon River Conference, with both Book and Stanford saying it is a tough conference.

Book said after adding Gilbert and North Polk to the conference, they are one of the best 3A conferences in the state, so the Tigers have to show up and bring their best every night.

Olivia Tollari at the plate for the Tigers during a home contest on Wednesday, May 26.

“It’s a killer conference, there’s really no light win here or there,” Stanford said. “Every conference game we’re going to have to come up and be ready to go every single time.”

Stanford added that a harder schedule only makes a team better and she would rather play up to continue to push the kids to continue to grow and learn.

Despite a tough schedule, Stanford still has high goals for the softball team. She hopes to finish top two in the conference and have some all-conference selections in addition to advancing in the postseason.