Softball strives to improve

As the 2016 spring season draws closer, Head Coach Larry Hennig and Assistant Coach Melissa Maler, along with the rest of the Cru softball team, are gearing up to take on their opponents.
Coming off of a 21-18 record last season, the Cru has high hopes that they’ll get a chance at a successful season.
“We are very excited for this season,” Henning said. “We’ve been going at it since August and had a month of fall softball. We feel like we are improved from where we were at last year and we we are going to improve even more.”
The Cru looks to start the season strong as they face-off against Texas Lutheran University Feb. 6 at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. in the season opener. Freshman firstbaseman Ainsley Skopik said the team is eager to start the season.
“We are very excited to open our season. We have worked hard throughout the offseason and we are ready to take the field,” Skopik said. “We have an incredible team of talented and dedicated players.”
The home opener will take place Feb. 12 at 4 pm against LeTourneau University.
“This season the team is committed to improvement,” Henning said. “We want to put up more wins and be one of the top teams in our league.”
The team struggled to fend off the top three teams in the conference last year and is determined to make a better showing than last season.
But even though the team will be focusing on defeating their toughest opponents, they will also be focusing on enjoying the season.
“Softball is a passion for these girls,” Henning said. “They are players that grew up playing the game and they had other family members that were softball players. So, they are really just living a dream playing here at Mary Hardin-Baylor. Being able to get a college degree and getting to do something that they love is near and dear to them, so we want them to enjoy it”.
Hennig has spent his entire life committed to this sport and loves to share his passion with the team every single day.
“I enjoy coaching softball because I’ve been on some sort of sports team my whole life,” he said “I started playing sports when I was 10 or 11-years-old and I have been on a team ever since.”
While there are many reasons that Hennig loves coaching the game, there are a few things that stick out to him.
“It’s so cool to see the different personalities that come into play. There are no two people alike and it keeps me on my toes,” he said. “It is just so much fun and it is a huge passion of mine that I get to do every single day. I wake up every single morning excited. I rush to get here because I enjoy my job so much.”
The long-time athlete and coach feels a sense of camaraderie with the women on his team, and feels like they are a family.
“We just love being a part of [this group] and we want to see the team be successful,” Henning said.
Hennig and the rest of the Cru softball team encourages all students and faculty to come out and support the girls as they look forward to a fun and successful season.
“Last season was kind of an off year for us, but we are looking to improve every single day,” he said, “ We are confident that we will succeed and reach our goals.”
The team may be coming off a disappointing 2015 campaign, but that hasn’t stopped them from setting their expectations high for the upcoming season.
“Our first goal is to win the conference,” Skopik said. “Eventually our goal as a team is to win a National Championship but right now we are just looking to the next 200 feet.”

Editor’s note: Kaylee Blumenfeld contributed to this story.

Author: Geri Wissink

Share This Post On

Commenting Policy
We welcome your comments on news and opinions articles, provided that they allowed by our Commenting Policy.