By most accounts, Coal City graduate Krista Watson had a pretty good sophomore season playing softball for Augstana University.
After all, Watson was named the best offensive player on the Augustana softball team for her performance this spring, batting .380 and setting a single-season record 18 doubles for the Vikings.
So impressive were the numbers put up by Watson that she was named to the All-Great Lakes Region Team this year, in addition to making the All-College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin team.
Yet, Augustana ost six of its last nine games and Watson sounds like the kind of player who would gladly trade the accolades for a few more quality wins.
"Obviously the achievements are great, but really I'd rather achieve the team goals than personal goals," she said.
The fact is that both Watson and Augustana have improved in the past two seasons since she joined the Vikings program.
"I'd say that from last year to this year we improved as a team, but we're not yet where we want to be," she said. "There is room for improvement for the team and personally I feel there is always room for improvement.
"I'd like to see the team play all season like it did at the beginning of this season. In the first half we played well and I'd like to see that carry over."
Offensively Watson was improved in several categories this year, yet she still was left feeling something was missing from her game this spring.
"I improved a little from last season," she said. "My average was slightly better than last season but my slugging percentage was a little better last season."
Despite the team-record 18 doubles by Watson this spring, she was coming off a freshman season in which she led the CCIW in slugging percentage, home runs and total bases.
"I hit fewer home runs this year than last. That was a real downer in my eyes," Watson said. "Setting the school record for doubles is great, they are still good hits, but I went from nine home runs last season to one this year and it made me think about what needs to be done."
Watson has moved around in the lineup but has settled in as the Vikings' No. 3 hitter for coach Kris Kistler.
"I batted leadoff, second, fifth and sixth. Coach was trying different orders before she figured out what she was most comfortable with, but I ended up batting third most of the season in front of Courtney Ledezma," Watson said.
Batting in an RBI position in the batting order is perhaps why Watson looks at her sophomore season the way she does.
"A couple more RBI would have been nice. I guess the home runs don't matter as long as we are getting runners in and winning games," she said. "It was frustrating to me because I felt like I was not getting the key hits like I was last year even though the numbers don't really show it."
In addition to making adjustments at the plate, one other big adjustment Watson has made has come in the field. Up until high school she had played second base before converting to a catcher for the Coalers under Brad Schmitt. She is currently playing shortstop for the Vikings.
"Coach (Kistler) wanted me to catch at first but I wasn't feeling that was the way I wanted to go," Watson said. "I started out at second base as a freshman and eventually moved to shortstop where I ended up all year this year."
She said that getting back into the field after being behind home plate has proved to be just as big an adjustment as it was when it went the other direction in high school.
"Again, it's been a change for me and it's still something I am working on," she said. "I made a lot of freshman mistakes last year and I made some untimely errors this year. Hopefully next year I will come out and be solid all season."