The melting of the snow and the chirping of the birds will be here soon but not soon enough for the softball team. Their first game against Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College was cancelled due to soggy field conditions and bad weather.
This moves the Lady Builders first game back to March 3 with a doubleheader at Mid-America Nazarene in Olathe.
The weather has contained the team to practices inside. “There is only so much you can do in White P.E.,” said Amber Good, head softball coach. However, the team did to get outside one day. “It was the first time we have seen live hitting this year,” said Good.
The lack of field time has not diminished Good’s prospects for her team. “We’re expecting a lot out of the girls. I think we have a very strong team this year and the new players will get to see a lot of playing time,” she said.
Kayla Berry, freshman outfielder and pitcher said she is looking forward to the season. “As a freshman just getting off the injured list I am excited about playing,” she said. Berry had surgery on her right throwing arm after dislocating it and tearing her labrum. She first jarred it out of place her senior year diving into second base. “I played for the rest of the season on it because I didn’t know anything serious happened,” she said.
Her arm completely dislocated when she was at Southwestern. “I was reaching for a book in my room and I heard a pop,” said Berry. She went into surgery Oct. 15. “It took me four months to recover. My release date was Feb. 17.” She has recently started throwing with it. “It’s a little sore but that’s just because it has been so long since I’ve thrown,” she said.
Berry was one of five new student athletes. Bailey LeGrand, freshman outfielder and catcher, Cassandra Michaels, freshman outfielder, Kayla Rodriguez, freshman catcher, and Alysse Yates, sophomore pitcher were the others. The additions bring the team to 15 players.
Good said she still feels as their numbers are low. “We will be focusing on keeping our team healthy this year,” she said. That doesn’t mean Good is not going to push her team in difficult practices. “It just means they need to make sure and see the trainers when they are hurt and take care of themselves,” said Good.
The team ended their fall season on a high note with a win against Cowley College. “I think the win gave us confidence which will be used going into this season,” said Good. The Lady Builders had not won against Cowley in five years.
Good has high hopes for both the offensive and defensive game. “Alysse Yates throws the ball really hard. We are expecting a lot out of her,” she said. “We are also the strongest offensively that we have ever been. The conference championship is attainable.”
Good has three words to sum up her feelings on their spring season. “Promising. Optimistic. Encouraged,” she said.
Their first home games are at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. March 9 against Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College at Broadway Sports Complex.