New Ripon head coach Steve Wammer watches as Julia Sanchez hits a ball during practice Tuesday in the college’s indoor fieldhouse. Waiting her turn is Addison Lindsey. Offense is one area Wammer wants to see the team improve this season.
New Ripon head coach Steve Wammer watches as Julia Sanchez hits a ball during practice Tuesday in the college’s indoor fieldhouse. Waiting her turn is Addison Lindsey. Offense is one area Wammer wants to see the team improve this season.

   A new head coach won’t be the only difference with the Ripon College softball team this season.

   It also will start the year a few weeks earlier, play more games and not have a first baseman at times.

   Steve Wammer takes over as coach for Brooke Kalman, who resigned after one year on the job.

   Wammer is known for his unusual defensive alignments and even spoke at a national convention in Florida about them in 2012.

   He comes to Ripon after spending 15 years as the head coach at Northland College, where he led the LumberJills to 229 wins and an Upper Midwest Athletic Conference Tournament title in 2008.

   “I hope to bring a number of things [to Ripon],” Wammer said. “One is, I am extremely passionate about the game of softball; I am incredibly passionate about Division III ... In addition, I think I bring an experience and knowledge base; I’ve coached for awhile.

   “I feel like we do some things pretty well. We really are going to work hard on hitting; that’s a part of our game we want to improve. We do some unusual things defensively, and I think that will make us fun to watch.”

   He also wants to see the Red Hawks continue to make strides after they posted their highest win total in five years last season (13) and stayed in the conference playoff race until the final week.

Read the full story, which includes information on the Red Hawks playing games earlier than they ever have, in the Feb. 22, 2018 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.