Team sets sights on Club Softball Association World Series
- Sep. 19, 2012
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Last year the Kansas club softball enjoyed its best season to date. Now the team hopes great chemistry and a back to basics approach to hitting will lead the team even further this season.
The team is coming off its first appearance in the National Club Softball Association World Series and is in its third year as a member. The team believes that the experience gained from the World Series will give them things to improve on so they can come back a better team.
“We need to improve on our situational hitting and pitching deep into games,” club softball coach Mark Hays said. “To improve on our hitting, we are doing a lot more selective hitting drills and working on the mechanics of the swing.”
Despite half of the team being newcomers this year, many of the girls believe that the team’s chemistry will be a great help to this year’s team.
Team president, Kendall Knott, said that through all of her 4 years with the team, this is the most closely knit group that they have had. She said there are no cliques, and they are just one big happy family.
“When you’re playing softball you have to trust your girls. For instance, when you’re turning a double play, the shortstop has to trust the first baseman,” Knott said. “Being able to trust your girls will lead to a better team in the long run because you will be more cohesive and fluent.”
The team seems to have one common goal, which is to win their conference and qualify for the World Series. But the ultimate goal is to win the World Series. The team believes that the chance to go to the World Series last year will greatly benefit them this year.
Sophomore third baseman Courtney Lutman, said that they did not do as well as they wanted to last year because they didn’t know what to expect when they got to the World Series. But she said it was a great experience because the team took everything they struggled with there and have been working on it this year.
“We are taking what we struggled with in the World Series and implementing them into practice,” sophomore Tiera Dunning said. “We have been working on our hitting technique, and even though our fielding was pretty good, we are working on making it even stronger.”
Many of the girls have personal goals as well as the team goals for the season and are working hard to achieve them.
Knott said that she has been on a strict workout regimen so that she will be able to go deeper into games. She said that she only pitched at times last season and is expected to take on more pitching responsibility this season. Both Lutman and Dunning are both concentrating on improving their hitting and making more contact this season.
The team members and coach alike feel like the team is poised for a great season. With the combination of great team chemistry and their improvements on their weaknesses from last season, the players and coach believe they can compete for a NCSA World Series championship.
Coach Hays believes that hitting and defense will be the team’s strengths this season. He expects there to be a lot more power and contact hitters in the lineup.
If he had a major concern it would be pitching depth because they lost a lot of their regular starters from last season. He wants his pitchers to focus on going deep in to games. Hays believes that they are a top 15 team and will be able to compete for a title.
— Edited by Ryan McCarthy