A new season steps up to bat this spring for the Lady Cru. Softball is officially underway and will open conference play as the women take on Concordia in a double header Friday at UMHB.
Concordia took an early lead in preseason with the best record at 4-7, and Lady Cru Head Coach Larry Hennig gives Concordia respect, considering them one of the toughest teams in the ASC.
“I think all of the teams in the ASC West have improved,” Hennig said but recognized Concordia as a dangerous contender for the team.
The Lady Cru went 18-2 at home last year, and with the confidence boost of the new stadium lights, they stand a pretty good chance at sweeping the toughest team early.
This spring Hennig’s players are looking good; they are a diverse squad with five seniors leading 12 underclassmen through the next two months. Stepping up this season are junior pitcher Hannah White as well as junior infielder Caitlin Bollier.
This past weekend the team traveled to Farmers Branch, Texas, to play the First Pitch Tournament at Oran Good Park.
The Lady Cru got to take a good look at the ASC East this weekend, and it proved to be pretty tough. UMHB went 1-3 in the First Pitch Tournament and came out of the weekend with a 4-7 overall record. Friday evening the Lady Cru faced off against and lost to UT-Tyler and Louisiana College. Saturday morning they came out with a vengence, brushing by Centenary College 14-3 followed by a tough 1-2 loss against UT-Dallas.
“Competition is always good at this level. You can’t make any mistakes,” said freshman mathematics major and catcher for the Lady Cru Jacqui Beach.
Hitting a two-run double Saturday against Centenary College, Beach is an up-andcoming young talent. However she attributes it to her team.
“From the very beginning they did everything to make me feel welcome,” Beach said.
Despite the contribution from freshman like Beach, the weekend did not go as planned, some work is still to be done.
The team hopes to learn from the experience and grow together to use the losses as motivation to bring the heat to the competition in the ASC West.
Senior first baseman and psychology major Ashton Feight said, “We haven’t reached our peak yet but we just need to keep working hard…. We make progress every game.”
With the experience gained in the First Pitch Tournament, the Lady Cru are ready to open the ASC play and fight their way through the regular season to earn their ticket to Lewisville, Texas, at the end of April for the ASC Championship Tournament.