There once was a time when spring sports at McPherson College were not very competitive — almost to the point they were little more than glorified intramurals.
But now the spring sports are booming and getting better every year.
McPherson College should make a jump in the year-end KCAC Commissioner’s Cup standings as the Bulldogs have made a major improvement in several spring sports.
The Mac tennis teams lead the way as first-year coach Dustin Wheeler has kept the program rolling despite there having been four coaches in the past eight years. Both teams are 3-0 in the KCAC so far, with the men not having given up a single point in three matches. Thursday’s dual with Bethany could very well determine the conference champion as the Swedes are trying to defend their title. Mac, though, has won the KCAC Postseason Tournament the last two years to make nationals along with the Swedes.
The Mac women are tied at the top of the KCAC with Bethel, with the winner of today’s dual taking the lead. Mac has been the dominant team the last two years in the conference and is seeking yet another trip to nationals.
The real turnaround has come in softball and baseball.
The Mac softball team was just 9-39 last year (4-18 in the KCAC) and it figured to languish in the basement again this year.
But third-year coach Ashley Spencer has turned things around with a talented group of newcomers. By sweeping twinbills Saturday and Sunday, the Bulldogs are 4-5 in the KCAC and 18-17 overall. It starts on the mound where freshman Christie Betker has given the team a legitimate No. 1 starter, and the offense is much improved, led by newcomers Kortney Jones, Jessica Jones and Judith Salazar — all of whom are hitting better than .400.
Spencer has something really good going here and with only three seniors, the sky is the limit.
The Mac baseball team, under first-year coach Bryan Moses, had a chance to get to the .500 mark in the KCAC on Sunday, but lost the second game to Kansas Wesleyan. Still, Mac is 8-10 in the KCAC and 17-23 overall, a big improvement over last year. Mac was 9-17 in the KCAC last year and 20-35 overall.
The Mac men’s track and field team, under head coach Robert Spies, should be a contender for the KCAC title, though it may not have quite enough depth. The women also have some good individuals that could get them in the upper half of the conference.
Mac was in sixth place in the Commissioner’s Cup standings out of 12 teams after the winter sports. It could definitely move up a few spots if the teams continue to perform well.