The softball team is ready to take their cuts as they travel to Virginia Beach to open up their season, taking on four teams in the Beach Blast 2014 Tournament in Virginia Beach.
The team begins their journey under new Head Coach Brittany Robinson. She said she has one goal right off the bat.
“I expect us to win games and compete for a conference championship,” Robinson said.
During the four-game 2014 Beach Blast Tournament, the Lady Hawks will face Bethany (W.V.) College and Plymouth State University on Friday and Baruch College and Kean University on Saturday.
The team is led by the team’s three captains, third-year catcher/utility player Shayna Burgess, third-year pitcher/infielder Meg Brewer and fourth-year infielder Chelsea Kull.
Coach Robinson said she expects Burgess to definitely lead the team batting-wise, as well as fielding.
“Burgess has caught for a while,” Robinson said. “She is an excellent catcher. I definitely expect her to lead us batting-wise and fielding. And Brewer, who does all the right things everywhere. She is the one who keeps everybody in line.”
Robinson expects Kull to lead the team in many ways.
“Kull will definitely lead us batting and defensively,” Robinson said. “I expect her to be the vocal leader on the field.”
Despite the new change at the helm, players are confident to succeed in a great way this season.
“So far Coach Robinson has been awesome,” Burgess said. “We can all agree that we are extremely lucky to have coach Robinson. She has taught us a lot during the past three weeks that will help us to be successful in this season. Having a coach who recently finished her Div. I softball career is very helpful.”
Brewer said the team is using Coach Robinson’s experience as a Div. I player to benefit them.
“Coach has been very insightful and knows a lot about the game,” Brewer said. “She has made minor tweaks that only an experienced player would know to do.”
Besides the upperclassmen stepping up to the plate, the incoming first-years and transfers have took charge as well, Brewer said.
“Upperclassmen are also understanding their roles as leaders and doing a good job setting an example,” Brewer said.
Robinson said the team has been focusing on live hitting to prepare for the season opener. Scrimmaging has been a quintesential part of practices because it helps replicate playing a real game. Brewer said applying previous technical work to live situations helps them build rotations and position changes that they anticipate making this season.
“We have been doing very well in practice,” Robinson said. “I have been very impressed by the effort that has been given, and the improvements that have been made so far. We’re just trying to stay on a building path, and not descend downhill.”
Coach Robinson and the team are looking forward to the good competition, as well as the warm weather as they travel down to Virginia Beach this weekend.
“It will give me a chance to scout some of the teams in our conference which is nice,” Robinson said. “It should be a good way to get a lot of people in to play, and kind of see where we’re at in terms of who is going to be playing where for the rest of the season.”