SPRING VALLEY, WI - As the calendar has turned, and we are seemingly on our way to a quickly arriving spring (we hope!), I have been wanting to put together a new Rumblings piece. However, that has been a bigger struggle than I anticipated. Not because of lack of time, or availability, or accessbility. No, none of those things. It was that I just could not come up with a worthy enough topic to spend the time on putting it together.
However, when driving back from running some errands to our people of the west in Minnesota, I had a thought. What about something about the women of the Hawks? Something about the ladies that spend a similiar amount of time at the ballpark as we do. They might not put on the jersey, or hang out in the dugout, or have to tolerate me as their manager. But they are just as important as anyone else, and we never want them to forget that. This coming summer is a special one of the Hawks, as three of our players will be tying the knot. It will be an exciting and busy enough season with baseball, but when you throw in multiple weddings, it makes for one memorable summer.
With that said, the topic that I thought would be entertaining enough to type up while watching the Rams and Cowboys play was about the ladies of Hawks Nation and their baseball abilities. Like, what would a baseball team built with the women of the Hawks look like? Who would be the studs? Who would be third base coach? Who would be the leader, the individual who would fire up the squad when the team was down a run in the bottom of the 9th? If you're a baseball fan, you have more than likely seen the movie "A league of their own." Well, here is my best attempt at putting together a Hawks ladies team. Please know, this is purely for entertainment and most of these things are debatable. I said most.
Biggest Power Threat: This one was up for much thought and debate. There were a few viable candidates for this, but after much consideration, this one goes to Jordyn Hall. Jordyn, who is the girlfriend of infielder/outfielder Casey "the real deal" Ryan, just feels like someone who would strike fear in an opposing pitcher. Making contact may be an issue, but the power potential in her bat when she steps to the plate should be undeniable. She finds the barrel of the bat, that ball is going, going, gone.
Biggest Stolen Base Threat: I don't feel like this one is up for much debate. This one goes to Laurissa Titterud, girlfriend of infielder Scott Sayles. Let's get right to it; "LT", as she is known within the Hawks family, was an All-American track & field athlete at UW-Stout. She made it to the national event, and would most likely beat any of our current players in a foot race from home plate to first base. She is a few years removed from competitive running, but some people never lose it and LT would be an absolute steal threat on the bases. To her, running is like riding a bike. On top of that, as Sayles would say, "have you seen those legs?" As often as she probably gives Sayles the red light, she would have the green light on the ballfield.
Best Fielder: This one should go to someone who is athletic, who has good hands and feet. Knowing what we know, all things considered, this category should be filled by Emily Bialka, girlfriend and Twitch streaming partner to infielder Brett Weinfurter. Much like LT, Bialka was also a collegiate athlete at UW-Stout where she played volleyball. Volleyball would seem like a sport where you would need good hands and feet, along with reactionary abilities. Bialka, also known as "Sweet Cream" (why this is her nickname, who the hell knows), has good length and looks like someone that would provide good versatility as a fielder, whether that be in the infield or outfield.
Best Hitter: Again, another one that was debatable. Truthfully, we could not come to a consensus on this. With that, we had two names that were in consideration. One was Ellie Nelson, girlfriend of catcher and freakin' flawless first baseman (when he plays there) Aaron Rodewald. While she may not be as outspoken or involved as other ladies of the Hawks, she looks like she would have a little Pete Rose in her. A gritty, hard nosed, hate to lose attitude. Heck, she has to put up with Rode, so we know she would be a difficult out. The other person may come as a surprise, given that her ability to throw a baseball is a big question mark. However, hitting has nothing to do with throwing which is why they made the DH; to allow terrible fielders to stay in the lineup and absolutely mash. That person is Cassie Stangl, girlfriend and boss of infielder TJ Walenski. An even keel, confident presence, hitting does not seem like it would be much of an issue for Slopper Stangl.
Manager/third base coach: This one goes to one of the lucky ladies that will be marrying a Hawk this coming season, Alison Morris. Alison and her fiance/outfielder Dylan Willett are getting married in May, and both have a past and current history of being part of cheer teams. Well, what better than to have a positive and vocal person managing this team and coaching third base? Plus, she could probably throw in a few stunts and moves that would distract the opponent. Anything to gain an advantage, right?
Ace of the pitching staff: Much like her husband, Brandon Walczak, we feel confident saying that Angela Walczak would be the anchor of the staff. She was a pretty dynamite softball pitcher back in her glory days, and with a little bit of practice and conditioning, there shouldn't be any problem with her mowing people down from the pitching mound. We just hope she is able to contain her bowel movements a bit better than her husband while she is on the mound.
Shutdown Relief Pitcher: This one goes to another lady who will be marrying a Hawk this summer, Jewel Cullen. Jewel is engaged to Hawks utility player Nate Lemler, and has the makeup to be a shutdown reliever. If she doesn't like you, you know it. Her personality and demeanor just screams this position, so it makes sense. Imagine her pounding the ball in her glove, staring right into your soul as you step into the batters box. If you have ever seen that stare, you already know you are in for a long at bat.
Team Trash Talker: While there is a time and place for this type of behavior, the reality is that every team has at least one of these individuals. Some have no problem hiding their trash talk while others are a bit more subtle about it. Regardless, there was no shortage of candidates for this category. With that said, this one goes to the girlfriend of our team trash talker, catcher Tim Bott, Shayna Hohlfelder. Most of us have seen first hand that Shayna has the ability to talk trash, especially when dealing with Bott when he gets out of control and goes into Bottmode. Plus, if Bott is doing her any service, he is showing her the finer details on talking trash and how to be effective with it. Let's just hope she plays a mean harmonica.
There you have it. If you feel like we snubbed someone, well deal with it. Coming up with the details on this article was difficult enough, and frankly, as I sit here, I am exhausted. This was a heck of a lot more difficult to complete than I thought, but it was worth it. We truly love and appreciate every single one of the women that are part of our baseball family, and as the manager of this team, I can not express enough of the appreciation and gratitude that I owe all of you; to allow your sigificant others to play baseball for the Hawks, and commit the amount of time, energy, money, etc. that they do. So to all of you, thank you!
With that said, we are already approaching the middle of January which means our season is quickly approaching. We are still in the middle of winter, but the recent weather has us thinking baseball. Our season opener, set for April 20th, 2019, is less than 100 days away. The schedule is coming together, fundraisers are coming up, and we could not be more anxious and excited to start another season of Hawks baseball. Until the next Rumblings, take care!
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