Southern softball squad gearing up for 2007 campaign

Coach Potter and her team will begin the season with an exhibition game against Labette Community College on Tuesday at 1pm.

File Photo / The Chart

Coach Potter and her team will begin the season with an exhibition game against Labette Community College on Tuesday at 1pm.

Jesse Cordova

For one Missouri Southern team, the goals are pretty matter of fact.

“Our goal this year is to get to the second day of the conference tournament,” said new Lady Lions softball coach Aron Potter. Potter and her team, headlined by sophomore catcher Angie Turner, head into the season with that goal in mind.

“I think we can be fun to watch,” Potter said .

“We will be very competitive.”

Potter said it would be simple how the team would fare in terms of wins and losses.

“It’s up to the kids,” Potter said.

The Lions finished last season with a 17-23 overall record but they could only manage a 2-14 mark in the MIAA.

“Last year the kids lacked that competitive drive, but these kids want to be better,” Potter said. Last season, Turner, a first-team All-MIAA and second-team All-Region selection, led the Lions in hitting as a freshman with a .353 batting average to go along with four home runs and 18 runs batted in. Turner was the only Lion to bat better than .300 a season ago.

This team will only have two seniors on the roster in utility player Missy Clark and infielder Racheal Bowen. Bowen was second on the team last year with a batting average of .264 and 16 runs batted in.

“You have to commend them, this is their second year with a new coach and they grasped everything,” Potter said. “They really set an example with their work ethic.”

People who followed the softball team last season won’t see many surprises this year.

“We return all nine position starters from a season ago,” Potter said. In addition to those returning starters the coaching staff recruited five junior college transfers. They are Tamika Barnes, Emily McPeters, Chasidy Austin, and Jennifer Goolsby.

Sophomore Lacee Craig is back this season to anchor the pitching staff. Craig posted a 12-8 record with a 2.23 earned run average in 24 appearances and led the team in strikeouts last season with 79.

The Lions will begin their 2007 campaign with an exhibition against Labette Community College on Tuesday Feb. 13 at Wild Field, which is located across the street from the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center and next to Fred G. Hughes Stadium. The first pitch is slated for 1 p.m. After that, the Lions will be on the road until Feb. 28 when they play host to rival Pittsburg State.