Softball team to travel to Holiday Inn Classic

Softball at Missouri Southern began its season by playing in the Whitten Inn Classic Tournament, in Abilene, Texas.

The Lions went 0-3, losing twice to Texas Woman’s University and once to Abilene Christian, but Head Coach Bill Gray says that won’t seem to set the tone for the season.

 “We hit the ball real well, solid defense,” Gray said. “Hopefully we’ll build on that.” The team is returning six seniors with 19 players total on the team. Seniors include Brooke Hurley, outfielder and lead hitter for the Lions, hitting 429; Lydia Niemegeers, outfield; Breanna Volkman, pitcher/outfielder; Alysha Poteat, shortstop; Brianna Fulkerson, utility; Kiley Siebenaler, infielder.

Junior Dawn Grass will be red-shirted this season due to an injury.

 Last year Southern went 32-22, placing them fourth in regular season and fifth in conference play.

“Picked third this year, [we] just need to build on it,” Gray said. Gray is in his fourth season as Head Coach and was announced as the seventh Lions coach in Southern history in 2008. “We’ve done a lot of conditioning, power-based workouts,” he said.

With the conditioning focusing on strength and endurance, Gray says they need to “build up momentum” to ensure a good season. “We would like to win conference tournament. It’s an automatic bid into Regionals, see how far we can get in post season,” he said.

The Lions will play in the Midwestern University Holiday Inn Classic this weekend in Wichita Falls, Kan. They’ll open against Texas A&M International at 8:00 p.m. Friday. Other schools that will be attendance include Fort Hayes, Abilene Christian, Arkansas Tech and Midwestern State. The Lions will play at 1 and 3:00 p.m. Saturday at 10 a.m. and noon on Sunday.

 The Teri Mathis-Zenner Memorial Tournament will be the team’s first home performance going up against Lindenwood at 7:00 p.m. March 2.