What are some of the team’s goals for the season?
Overall, obviously try to incorporate new kids and the young kids that didn’t play last year. The goal is mainly to try to get molded together as a group and basically just get some experience.
Can you comment on the leadership Jennifer Heerey is showing?
Jenny (senior pitcher and outfielder) is in a position where she has started playing more and hitting more this year. Jenny’s senior year, being the only senior, a lot of the girls are looking to her for leadership and she has stepped up and into the position to where she is performing well, and that is helping us to help move forward as a group
What is the biggest obstacle you have faced this season?
So far, our biggest obstacle is consistency. It has been an issue. Some days we look great offensively, and we struggle in other areas.
What is working well for the team at the moment?
At the moment, we are having a lot of young kids step into roles. Offensively, we’re making good strides and up until last weekend defense has been a strength as well. We’re trying to find a way where we put all aspects together.
Who are your biggest contributors to the team?
Right now, starting out, we have two freshman making significant impacts. Kendra Gifford (outfielder) and Stephanie Goodwin (outfielder) are doing a great job, making big impacts as freshman. Jessica Brewer, a junior outfielder, is making some good things happen for us too.
What kind of impact have the newcomers had this season?
Kendra Gifford and Stephanie Goodwin have been significant impacts. Taylor Zordel (freshman infielder) is a great defensive impact. Tricia Vogel (sophomore infielder and catcher) was here last year and didn’t get playing time, but she’s stepping up and doing great things as well.
How does this year’s team compare to last year’s team?
Well, this is my first year coaching at Emporia, but as an outsider, we’re kind of missing that one impact player. Last year, Angela Mahan and Abby Hughes were key offensive impacts. They all graduated at one time – that go-to kid that can play both sides of the ball is what is missing, which they had last year.
How has the program improved since you have been here?
I feel like we have improved significantly talent wise. The girls have really made a point to try to get better as actual ballplayers. We are definitely working on our mental game.
What are the keys to this team’s success?
I think learning from past failures and moving on is something we have an issue with and is holding us back. When we get it figured out to not wear every loss on us, it will be very important. That is a lot of why we have up and down performances because we are lingering on it. That mentality and getting pitching and hitting together are the most important things.
Who is your biggest competition in the MIAA?
I would say Missouri Western. They are picked to win the conference, but there’s always Central Missouri and Fort Hays. They will give us good games, but probably Missouri Western.