Pipers finishing strong

Piper Athletics end their 2021-2022 season on a positive note with feelings of comradery, sportsmanship and school spirit.

Cole Brennan, Sports Reporter

Aidan Stromdahl

The school year coming to a close means that Hamline athletics are soon to follow. With the exception of Hamline baseball and the men’s and women’s track and field programs, there are only a handful of regular season games or matches left for softball, lacrosse, and the men’s and women’s tennis teams. With the 2021-2022 athletic season being the first spring season that wasn’t overshadowed by the pandemic since 2019, teams had a breath of fresh air when it came to competition. Closing out the year is going to be hard for some athletes and easy for others. One thing is for sure though, no matter how many games were won, or how deep our spring teams advance into the playoffs, this past spring has been one to remember. 

Hamline baseball had their Pride game on April 27 against St. Olaf and were unlucky to walk away from that series with two losses. Sophomore pitcher Eli Erickson believes that the Pipers season may have done more to help the group than the statistics may show. 

Hamline’s baseball team hosted St. Olaf on April 25 for their first ever Pride game at CHS field. (Aidan Stromdahl)

“This year has presented a lot of challenges for our squad and through those challenges we’ve grown to be a tightly knit group,” Erickson said.  Hamline baseball are currently 3–12 in conference play and they hope to finish out the season strong with series against Carleton, St. Scholastica, and Macalester.

The men’s and women’s track programs have had a season of success and had individual performances from athletes that are sure to help the program in the long run. It seems like every other week first-year Joshua Thomsen of the men’s track and field team is breaking records and placing in meets. He did that once again on April 23 placing 5th in the 400 meter hurdles. 

In that same meet the women’s track and field team had some standouts of their own. Alexandra Maddux and Lucy Hoelscher both had standout performances in the 800 meter run with Maddux finishing in first and Hoelscher taking third place. In addition to a top three finish in the 800 meter race, senior Jailyn Robinson placed third in long jump as well. Both the men’s and women’s track programs hope to compete at their highest level before the MIAC Multi Championship on May 5 and 6 in Northfield. 

Hamline softball is making a playoff push to try and secure a top six spot before the year comes to a close. They have games against Concordia and Augsburg to try and squeeze into the promised land. First-year infielder Jenna Rubbelke made comments on the future of Hamline Softball program after this season concludes. 

“Next year is going to be a lot of rebuilding,” Rubbelke said. She couldn’t be more correct, as five of the 17 players rostered are seniors. Hopefully this program can finish out the season in the playoff picture and acquire some top talent to replace this group of important seniors. 

For the Hamline lacrosse team, there was a different kind of atmosphere within the team when it came to building relationships this year. 

Grace Pierson (Junior) and Jalisa Mathews (Junior) sit at the entrance of Klas collecting donations for Bridge of Youth including gender affirming clothing, toiletries, non perishable food items and other household necessities. (Aidan Stromdahl)

“We got the chance to build better relationships with one another and play the game we love without the added pressure of COVID exposure,” Sophomore midfielder Kendra Haselow said. The program had their Pride Game and Senior Nights ending on a positive note by winning both games and outscoring their opponents 30 to 14 in just those two games. Senior attacker Molly Garin led the team in goals in those two games with eight. Junior Taryn Leanord and graduate student Maria Lewis followed close behind with six. 

For the men’s and women’s tennis team, there has been a lot for them to enjoy in the season following the pandemic. Both teams had the chance to go down to Orlando, FL to compete against teams across the country. Both the men’s and women’s team finished the spring break trip on a 1–2 record. On the women’s side, they will finish with an overall record of 2–16 and a conference record of 0–9. Going over to the men’s program, they will end up finishing with an overall record of 5–13, and a conference record of 2–6. Both teams will only lose one senior this spring. From the women’s program, Taylor Hopkins and from the men’s program, Nazeer Robinson.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a lot of negativity into students’ lives over the past few years. This spring was a gentle reminder that life in Hamline Athletics will continue to roll on. Once a Piper, always a Piper.