Softball seeks to finish strong on home stretch

By Michael Crosson

 

In Texas, spring means sunny skies and warmer weather.

 

But to local sports fans, spring means baseball and softball season for spirited Crusaders.

Leah Brown waits for a pitch in a game against East Texas Baptist University. Jake Stamps/The Bells

Leah Brown waits for a pitch in a game against East Texas Baptist University. Jake Stamps/The Bells

 

The Lady Cru started the season slow by losing seven of their first 13 contests, but then went on a streak to win 10 consecutive games the last month.

 

Tiffany Birdwell is a pitcher for the softball team. She said the team’s recent success is the result of good team chemistry.

 

“I feel we need to continue to bond as a team,” she said.

 

Cori Drake squats behind the plate during a game. Jake Stamps/The Bells

Cori Drake squats behind the plate during a game. Jake Stamps/The Bells

Third baseman Leah Brown said the team is pleased so far with its play, but knows there’s plenty of games left to be played in the season.

 

“I always feel like we can improve, but I feel we’re doing really well as a team,” Brown said.

 

Head coach Larry Hennig believes this year’s squad is special because of the good team work ethic on and off the field.

 

He said, “I guess that the fact that the girls came here and we’re on a mission and they understand that every day is important, teamwork is important.”

 

Julie Norris, the assistant softball coach, said the thing she loves most about this team is how the players genuinely care for one another.

 

“We have a really resilient team they’re never out of ball games and the team chemistry is really good this year, the girls get along and play hard for each other all the time,” Norris said.

 

Catcher Cori Drake said the players have had to rely on each other to get through the mental hurdles of the season.

Players watch intently from the dugout against ETBU. Jake Stamps/The Bells

Players watch intently from the dugout against ETBU. Jake Stamps/The Bells

 

Drake said, “I think we possess a lot of confidence because we’re really good about motivating our own teammates and keeping a positive attitude during the games, and that really contributes to our success.”

 

Drake added that as the team continues to improve, they could very well be a tough club to beat.

 

“I believe the more we play the better we get and the more we come together as a team, so I believe we have a very good shot at going to regionals this year,” she said.

 

Right fielder Karley Free said the team’s unity and hard work is what makes her most proud to be a part of the squad.

 

“The team chemistry and how well we can all get along when we’re out on the field, and encouraging others during the game,” Free said.

 

The team is currently sitting fourth in the American Southwest Conference standings and will host Sul Ross State

Author: The Bells Staff

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