Summer Recap: Woodward’s young baseball, softball rosters move ahead

Sean Cordy, Correspondent
Special to the Chief

Summer sports season has officially come to an end for Woodward-Granger as the baseball team lost 5-0 in Tuesday's regional quarterfinal matchup with ACGC. Now take a look back at what the Hawks accomplished on the diamond this year.

Baseball (14-12)

Woodward-Granger's Colby Tague gets a fist bump after making it on base during a home game earlier this season.

Even with the massive roster turnover and coaching change, the Hawks wrapped the season with their seventh straight winning season. Undoubtedly, it was their pair of upset wins against state hopefuls Van Meter and Panorama that pushed them over the edge to keep the streak alive.

At the heart of that success was a group of seniors in Colby Tague, Christian Husmann and Worth Henry. Tague led the team with a .375 batting average and drove in 20 runs. Meanwhile, Husmann and Henry ranked among the conference's top five speedsters with 24 and 28 stolen bases, respectively. Henry also served up 39 strikeouts with a 1.83 ERA and a 4-1 record as a pitcher.

Adding his name to 2022 preseason watchlists, sophomore Collin Nardini booked a 1.12 ERA ranked second in the WCAC and was a perfect 6-0 on the mound with 39 K's. No other underclassmen in the conference had more than five wins let alone a perfect record. Additionally, at .316, Brody Nardini is the lone returning Hawk to have a  batting average of .300 or better.

Brody Nardini at the plate for the Hawks during a home game in 2021.

Softball (7-24)

The Hawks had an unfortunate rebuilding year in the wake of sudden absences to the roster. That said, the infinitely faithful can find a bounty of hope for a boom in 2022.

Woodward had the incredibly rare experience of having only one senior on the team this year, shortstop Ava Petersen. She finished her career with a clip of 21 hits, 10 runs and four RBI in addition to functioning as a team leader and mentor.

Ava Petersen throws the ball to first base during a regional game against Ogden on Tuesday, July 6 in Woodward.

Barring injury or transfers, the rest of the team returns, including the top-seven players in terms of batting average and on-base percentage. At the top of that list is junior Chloe Houge at .347/.421 as she led the team with 33 hits and 39 total bases from the leadoff spot. She ranked 42nd in the conference in batting average.

Creeping in for more action are a pair of exciting eighth-graders Lauren Rodgers and NataLeigh Herron as two of four Hawks to have a batting average of at least .290. Only Van Meter's Finley Netten had more hits than Woodward's pair of incoming freshmen.

That said, it was a strange year for the Hawks. As some of the most prolific baserunners the past few seasons, W-G ranked 10th with just 34 stolen bases. Only Des Moines Christian's 16 was fewer.

Chloe Houge waits for the pitch during a regional game against Ogden on Tuesday, July 6 in Woodward.