The Prairie Fire softball team finished the 2018 season with their best record (10-26) since 2005. An influx of six talented newcomers joined a strong returning group to show improvement across the board. Head Coach Erin Rutledge believes leadership from her seniors paved the way for the successful season. “These women showed that they would not let the previous three years discourage them from having the season they were capable of having,” said Rutledge. “We have come a long way and still have a long way to go, but I am extremely proud of this group. This season is a testament to the strength of their will.” The 2018 team won as many games as in the previous four seasons combined and broke a number of school records along the way. Kristen Koviekis ’18 ended her record-setting career by setting the single season record for hit by pitches (15). First-year pitcher Tegan Doherty ’21 set the school record for wins in a season (9) and most innings pitched in a season (143.2), and tied for the most shutouts in a season (3). Third baseman Emily Stevenson ’18 became the first all-conference honoree for the Prairie Fire since 2014. Despite losing three seniors, a strong core remains for the team with five returning starters, all of whom are sophomores. “You look at our team this year and see so much youth,” said Rutledge. “Our seniors laid the groundwork for these young players to continue where they left off. I am sad to see Kristen, Emily, and Val leave, but their legacy will live on. I am excited to see where these talented women can take us in the future.”