The EMU women’s softball team begins this year’s season loaded with talent after graduating just two players from last year and carrying over five all-conference athletes.
The Royals finished last season with a 21-19 record but were bounced from the ODAC tournament with two straight losses.
The team graduated Courtney Allman, who was an All-ODAC First Team selection and a record setter that led the team in nine offensive categories, but they return all of their pitching and most of their lineup from a team that was young but talented last year.
Senior Molly Smith said, “We have high expectations this year because we returned a lot of players and gained some freshmen that should really help us.”In terms of other All-ODAC selections, Smith and Senior Brooke Hensley return as second-teamers as well as Sophomores Brooke Sigrist, Angelia Miller, and Cheyenne Cash, who were third team selections.
With the loss of Allman, the Royals lost a bit of their power in the lineup and are looking to utilize a different strategy this year.
“We are focusing on moving runners this year whether we have to do that by bunting or moving runners around,” said Smith.
The women beat three nationally ranked opponents last year including the top ranked team in Salisbury, who only lost two games the entire year.
They open up on Feb. 15 in Atlanta in the “3N2 Elite Event,” the first of three tournaments that they will attend. They will then play in the “Beach Blast” and “Seagull Classic” before playing their first home game and conference matchup against Shenandoah on March 13.
-Adam Posey, Staff Writer
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