Spring sports preview

The spring doesn’t just bring rain and flowers. Here at Washburn, spring means baseball, softball, track and field, and tennis. These teams look to find great victory and success this spring. With the new season upon us, here’s a look back at the previous seasons of our Washburn teams.

The baseball team will compete in their first game of the spring season on February 2 in Grand Prairie, Texas against Newman University. The Ichabods will travel there in order to take part in the Quick Trip Classic. Last season the baseball team boasted a 34-20 record, ranking them at the #3 seed going into the MIAA tournament. The team played a total of 5 championship tournament games before being eliminated in a 16-8 loss by the University of Central Missouri. The Ichabods baseball team will return many players from last season. This includes senior pitcher Nick Silva, the MIAA Pitcher of the Year for 2016. Also among the returners, senior shortstop Riley Krane, who appeared on the American Baseball Coaches Association NCAA Division II All American ‘Players to Watch’ list for the 2017 season. The baseball team will open their home season on February 24 at Falley Field to take on the Missouri Western State University Griffons.

After a 19-27 season in 2016, the Ichabods softball team will look to turn things around in the 2017 season. A new head coach will take over the Ichabods for the new season. Head coach Brenda Holliday accepted the position of head coach earlier this summer after Washburn released previous head coach Vanessa Becerra. In the preseason, the softball team was ranked #11 in a MIAA preseason coaches’ poll. For the first 20 games the Ichabods will be on the road to travel to three different classics. Their first game will be on February 3 in Magnolia, Arkansas to take on the Tarleton State University Texans during the Southern Arkansas Invite tournament. The home opener for the softball squad will be on March 10 at the Washburn Softball Complex in a competition with the Missouri Southern State University Lions.

For the first time since 1982, the Washburn Ichabods will have a spring track and field team. The track and field team has been active in the indoor track arena since December, but this spring will be the first time for the squad to hit the outdoors. The track and field teams have had a busy year so far breaking school records at every meet they attend. So far over 20 records have been broken by the first-year team. The indoor track season will continue until the MIAA Indoor Track Championships that take place from February 24-26 in Joplin, Missouri. The first meet the team will attend for the outdoor season will be on March 17 at Emporia State University in Emporia, KS.

The golf team will tee off their spring season March 13 in the Washburn Invitational at the Topeka Country Club. The team played a fall season which consisted of five invitational tournaments, including a trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to compete in the Myrtle Beach Invitational. The Ichabods picked up their best finish during their last tournament hosted by the Lindenwood University in Saint Charles, Missouri. The team placed 5th out of 16 teams. The outlook for the team is great, considering one of their players was named Kansas Golf Association’s Player of the Year. Washburn’s Blake Allen was named as the KGA player of the year for 2016. The team will compete in five tournaments this spring, with the opportunities to play in the NCAA tournament.

Washburn Women’s tennis will swing into their spring season on February 3 in Springfield Missouri to take on Drury University. The team had an incredible season in the fall, including two Ichabods players picking up national rankings. Sophomore Madeline Hill was crowned as the Division II National Champion in singles play. This is the first player in Ichabod tennis history to be named national champion, and Hill accomplished the task following an 18-1 singles record. In doubles play, Hill and freshman teammate Jacqueline Engelbrecht picked up a national ranking of twelfth in the Division II rankings. The duo recorded a 13-1 record on the season. The team will make their spring debut at home on March 1 to host the William Woods University Owls.

The Men’s tennis team will be joining the women’s team on February 3 in Springfield, Missouri to open up their spring season as well. The men found great success in the fall season, with one player competing in the ITA Central Regional championship match. Sophomore player Alejandro Valarezo Plaza put on an incredible at the ITA Central Regional this fall, and he found himself in the match for the men’s single championship. Unfortunately, Valarezo was knocked out by Sherif Abohabga of Southwest Baptist University. Valarezo joins the history books as the second player in men’s tennis history to make an appearance in the championship match of the ITA Central Regional tournament. The men will appear at home for the first time on March 1 to compete with the William Woods University Owls.

Whether you’re a fan of the bat and ball or athletes showcase their speed and agility, there is something for all sports fans going on this spring. Get up, get out, and go cheer on your Washburn Ichabods sports teams competing this spring. Go Bods!