Warhawk softball remembers ‘why’


Dane Sheehan

Members of the UW-Whitewater softball team huddle at the pitchers mound before the start of an inning, during the Warhawks game against the University of Chicago Mar. 27, 2021.

Mikey Rottier, Assistant Sports Editor

With the softball season approaching, head coach Brenda Volk and senior captain Kennedy Cox are happy to be competing, knowing not to take anything for granted among the COVID-19 pandemic. The Warhawk softball team lost their entire 2020 season and had a drastically abnormal experience during the 2021 season due to precautions and uncertainty surrounding the pandemic. Volk and Cox are optimistic for the upcoming 2022 season and are going in with intentions of competing, getting the most out of the season and most importantly enjoying the sport they love. 

Coach Volk explained that their goals this year do not vary from the goals of any season they have had before. She is optimistic and knows that the team will work hard, and is excited to see what they are able to accomplish.

“Our goals never really change year after year. We always want to put ourselves in the best position possible to compete at the highest level,” Volk said. “We really just try to focus on what we can control to make that happen. That starts just by working hard day in and day out at everything we do, whether that is in the weight room, on the field, or in the classroom.  When all is said and done, our goal is really just to try and provide a first class experience for our athletes and to help create memories that will last a lifetime.” 

Going into this season one of the most telling factors is going to be team chemistry. There has been a lot of variation in the roster in the last few years and this year is no different. The slightly different line up could prove to be a strength for the Warhawks this season but it all depends on the way the team can work together. 

“There are a lot of new faces, a lot of freshmen and a lot of sophomores. We have all worked really hard for this upcoming season and I am really excited to see how we all work together,” Cox said. “We get along really well outside of softball which is one of the most important things. We are going to be searching for that chemistry on the field in the last couple of weeks of practice.”

Pitching and defense is something that the Warhawks are expecting to be a strength for them on the field this year. There is a lot of experience returning to the mound and a few defensive positions as well. Pitching can be considered one of the most important positions on the field so having a strong pitching crew is a good sign for the team this season. A number of good pitchers in your rotation makes it less likely for a team to fall into a losing streak and easier to bounce back from tough losses.

“Our pitching staff has worked really hard with Steve (Evans), our pitching coach. I get to work with them one on one everyday and they have put the work in and I am really excited to see how they are going to dominate the other teams. They are amazing as a unit and as a whole group and they have worked for this so I would keep an eye out for that,” Cox said. 

Cox is a veteran Warhawk and has experienced ups and downs through the years with the softball program but this season is particularly important to her. As a leader and one of the biggest playmakers on the team she is focused on making her final season a meaningful one for everyone. She is very passionate about the game of softball and wants to be reflective and grateful about her career. She wants to bestow her knowledge on her younger teammates and create the best atmosphere and experience for the entire Warhawk softball community. Cox is focused on competing and winning games but goes into each game with a deeper purpose as well. 

“Beth (Bonuso), our assistant coach, always asks us to remember our ‘why’, why we play, and why we get up every morning. Now that I am down to my last season of playing softball probably ever, makes that why even more important,” Cox said. “I want to give back to the sport I love so much, and I want to be a good leader. There are so many new people this year and I want to show them what it is like to be a Warhawk softball player. I am not trying to break any records, I just want to enjoy my time while I still have it.”

With coach Volk and captain Kennedy Cox’s optimistic attitude towards this upcoming season, Warhawk softball fans should be excited. No matter the outcome of each game, however many home runs are hit or games won, the Warhawks will continue to work hard and remember their why. They will have their first matchup of the season in an away game at Elmhurst (IL.) College Mar. 12, at 1 p.m. The first home game is slated for Mar. 29, 2 p.m. against Lake Forest (IL.) at the Van Steenderen Complex.