The softball team’s new season begins on Feb. 8. Their first game will kick off in the Fort Lauderdale Tournament in Florida against Nova Southeastern.
“We started practice on January 10,” said Mackenzie Thornton, junior pitcher. “Our practice has been really quick. We are getting a lot of reps and drills in, and…we are building for the season.”
But the team is facing some challenges during the practice due to the cold weather because they’ve been having to practice inside.
“We’ve been hitting a lot, taking as many grounders as we can,” said Linda Passmore, the assistant coach. “(We’re) just doing a lot of teamwork, so they can get as many tosses as they can, and just focusing on fundamentals because that is what you can do inside.”
After last season, the softball team lost multiple senior players, but they have 20 members right now.
“We have 10 new people…but overall we are looking pretty good,” said April Rosales, head coach of the softball team. “I’m excited to see what these guys can do.”
Since the senior players used to be the leaders of the team, there has been a struggle to rebuild the team, according to Thornton.
“It’s kind of tough without having the leadership and the confidence that they brought to our team,” Thornton said. “At the same time, it gives out other opportunities to step out and take the leadership positions.”
Last season, the softball team won the MIAA conference title. Their goal for this year is to do better and be able to bounce back.
“I want the conference title again,” Thornton said. “I want to be No.1 in the conference. I want to win the tournament again.”
There were some tough teams in the past seasons, such as University of Central Oklahoma and Washburn University. The softball team beat Washburn to win the conference last season, according to Passmore.
“We’re got to go into every game like it’s the most important," Rosales said. "If we do that, then we are going to be in a good place come May."
Correction: A previous version of this article cited the person in the photo as Jenna Spence. The photo is actually of Montana Mesler, a sophomore. Additionally, the headline of the story was changed from "Softball struggles to rebuild their team" to "Softball prepares for upcoming season," as upon further review and a conversation with the softball coach, the editorial staff determined that the headline made an unfair judgment call. The last quote was also changed. A previous version read “We’re going in every game like it’s the most important. If we do that it will be a good place to commit,” Rosales said. The quote was updated and the correct version is above.