Softball practices indoors, reflects on desired goals

Jesse Cordova

The Missouri Southern softball team’s season exhibition opener for Tuesday was cancelled due to inclement weather.

The rain Monday night mixed with below-freezing temperatures left the field unplayable and forced Southern and Labette Community College to shelve their exhibition game.

The team used the extra day to practice in preparation for its season opener at Rogers State today at 1 p.m. Although practice is an effective way to improve, the team is ready to get onto a field and play a real game.

“We got to play on the football field,” said senior infielder Racheal Bowen. “It’s not the same as dirt, and neither is the gym.”

The girls have been practicing in the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center in Young Gymnasium. As the team practices indoors, the Lions express their frustrations with the hardwood floor. They also used the opportunity to reflect on their goals for this season.

“We want to finish in the top three in the conference,” Bowen said. “We have the chemistry and athleticism to do it.

“This team has the best chemistry of any team I’ve been on at Southern.”

Southern has set some lofty individual goals for the season.

“Last season I hit around .230 and .240 for most of the year,” Bowen said. “This year I want to hit at least .300.”

The objectives didn’t stop in the batter’s box.

“I want to finish the season with an ERA under one, and I want to improve on my strikeouts,” said sophomore pitcher Lacee Craig.

Craig, who finished last season with a 12-8 record, a 2.23 ERA and led the team in strikeouts with 79, also says she wants to stay consistent all year.

“I felt like I started last year really well and then kind of tailed off at the end,” Craig said “this year and want to start strong and carry it through all year.”

The Lions will play four games in Oklahoma and two more in Texas before coming home to play rival Pittsburg State Feb. 28. Then, the squad will embark on an early March road swing before returning home March 8 for a twinbill with the University of Missouri-Rolla.