A strong pitching and catching duo creates confidence among competitive softball players during practices and games.

The Vikings’ Liz Neuman, a sophomore studying biology, and Dallas Devey, a freshmen studying psychology, each said the relationship between the pitcher and catcher is important.

“When you have a good relationship with them, you can trust them, your pitching is better, and you know that we have each other’s back,” Neuman said.

Devey said it calms down the pitcher when they are pitching so they can focus on what to do instead of worrying about the catcher.

Devey and Neuman each said they will build the relationship through practices.

“As we practice and get to learn about each other, it will grow,” Neuman said.

Devey said the relationship will grow by being humble, taking care of each other and being supportive.

“When you’re not clicking, it’s work,” according to Mike Flanagan in the ESPN interview “A Relationship That’s Extremely Important.” “You’re not sure of yourself out there. You are asking yourself, ‘Is he right? Am I right?’ That’s when games drag and heads shake.”

“It’s all about communication,” said Emily Miller, the catcher on the Spartans and a freshmen studying automotive engineering technology.

Miller and Ellington each said the pitcher and catcher need to be on the same page of what they want to accomplish in the game.

“We keep each other in check, keep each other levelheaded and can keep an eye out for each other,” Ellingson said.

Miller said it is important for the catcher to make sure that the pitcher is OK mentally and physically.

Tia Thompson, the pitcher for the Knights and a junior studying nursing, said she once had a catcher who did not get along very well with the team, and that affected the whole team.

“If you want to get a call on the pitch, you want someone as catcher who works just as hard as you do,” Thompson said.

Thompson said it is all about working hard for each other.

“Not having a good catcher affects my game,” Ellingson said.

Ellingson said pitchers and catchers need to have trust in each other and be able to rely on one other.

“It’s frustrating, as a catcher, when the pitcher does not do their job,” Miller said

Miller said that if the catcher’s or pitcher’s attitude is bad, it affects the team and how they play.