MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Both the St. Thomas baseball and softball teams are World Series bound.
“I think it’s awesome,” softball third baseman Brooke Selisker said. “To have a men’s and women’s program together, and to both be fighting for a championship, it says a lot about the school.”
Especially since the school is located where St. Thomas is located — the upper Midwest. Not exactly a hotbed for their sports, which are traditionally dominated by southern teams — for obvious reasons.
“The past two years, we’ve been stuck (inside) with snow going into April,” said baseball third baseman Jack Hogan.
But it comes with the territory.
“Sometimes we’ve got to practice in the snow and shovel your field off,” Selisker said.
And yet, these Tommie teams have found ways to win anyway. Both have won two titles since the year 2000. And both are trying to do the same this week, headed to their respective World Series. Both are eight-team, double-elimination tournaments. Softball starts Thursday in Tyler, Tex. Baseball starts Friday in Appleton, Wis.
“I think all the disadvantages you bring up are probably real,” baseball coach Chris Olean said. “But we’ve found a way to get around it.”
And in some cases, they’re able to use those northern preconceptions as motivation.
“I think it’s a mentality too,” Hogan said. “The guys up here, we kind of have a little bit of a chip on our shoulder, (with) all the blue chip guys (and) all the attention is going down to these schools down south. You know, there are good players up north (too).”
Tommies softball coach John Tschida said it’s a matter of “Midwest work ethic.”
“Whether you’re a farmer, or shovel snow every day, scrape the windows, you kind of have that in you, a little grit in you,” he said. “Maybe they don’t in other places. As a matter of fact, I’ve had schools from other sunny states, and they say, ‘Gosh, I want my kids to go watch you guys practice and see what it’s like to be a ballplayer.'”