Author: Gil Alcaraz
With fall and winter practices done, it’s time for the Oxy women’s softball team to take the field. The team is just getting back into the grit of its preparations as the first game quickly approaches.
Throughout last fall, head coach Jodie Cox demanded a lot from the team in order to prepare the players for a rigorous SCIAC schedule. This includes competing against three teams that advanced to the NCAA tournament last season. Two opponents in particular, Redlands and La Verne, will prove to be stiff competition for the Oxy softball team.
Yet with a strong group of returning starters, as well as six incoming first-year players, Cox has high hopes that the team will prevail. And with success against two of those NCAA tournament-bound teams last season, the Tigers have proven they have the potential to make a run at the SCIAC title as well as a ticket to the NCAA tournament.
When asked about how the team is shaping up this upcoming season, Cox said the women are excited to apply what they have learned in practice. “They are working hard and are anxious for the season,” she said. Although the women ended last season with a losing record of 14-32, it was a milestone for the program as the team tied the previous Oxy record for most wins in a season. Among those record-breaking 14 wins was a six-game winning streak in which the team swept three non-conference foes in a row.
Although most of their losses last year came from conference games, Cox and her players are confident that they can build on their past success and prove themselves a force to be reckoned with in the SCIAC. “We are definitely looking to make a statement in conference play this year. These girls are relentless, they will get it done,” Cox said.
Outfielder Nicole Hannasch (sophomore) thinks that the team has a good chance of competing against highly-talented SCIAC foes and the potential to work successfully together. “I feel we have a very competitive team this year,” Hannasch said. “We have most of our starters from last year returning and some strong new additions.” She also believes that the team’s great chemistry will benefit them, as everyone gets along both on and off the field.
After losing only two starters to last year’s graduation and bringing in a strong recruited class, this new and talented Tiger softball team has a bright future ahead of it. Now that the returning players have one more year of experience, they will be able to help lead six new first-year players toward eventual SCIAC success.
The team’s first game will be at home against the Royals of Hope International University on Friday, Feb. 5.
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