The CLU Regals softball team is ready to do big things this year. The team brings back eight returning starters from the 2012 team and is ready to compete in one of the toughest leagues in all of Division III.
Every game is a big game for the Regals team, according to head coach Debby Day
“Every game! For us, every game matters,” said Day.
The Regals are looking to build off of last season where they finished sixth in the SCIAC. The team is ready to make noise and compete this year. Day is excited about her team and the upcoming season, saying that she expects to finish top four in conference and play in the SCIAC tournament in late April.
Day believes that the key to success for this year’s team is playing at their highest level every game, keeping high expectations and maintaining a team atmosphere. The eight returning starters will help carry this team into the postseason, but pitching will also play an important role for this Regals team.
“I think our pitching is stronger, which is something we’ve definitely needed. We also have more offensive tools than in the past couple years. Most important, I think this team should have a lot more confidence,” said Day.
One of the offensive tools that Day is talking about is junior outfielder Kayla Sakamoto, a second-team, all-SCIAC outfield honoree last spring.
She returns after being one of the most difficult players to strikeout in D3 last season. But Sakamoto isn’t the only offensive player returning for the Regals this season.
Danika Green returns to the team after batting .312 with a homerun, seven doubles and 23 RBIs during her sophomore campaign.
Senior catcher Shannon Tinsley is one of the top power hitters in the SCIAC. She led her team last season with 28 runs, seven home runs and 11 doubles and had a batting average of .328.
Another player returning to the team is senior outfielder Debben Hoffer. Hoffer is very excited for the season to get underway and feels comfortable and confident about the team.
“I’m very comfortable with where the team is right now and I think our four seniors are most excited for our first game, because it will be our last one in our softball careers,” said Hoffer.
The Regals’ softball season began Friday, Feb. 1 when they took on the Whitworth Pirates in a double header at Hutton Field. The Regals lost the game 11-5. The Regals lost their second game of the season as well, 7-0.
During the fourth and fifth inning of game two the Pirates amassed all seven of their runs for that game. The Regals hit the ball well throughout the majority of the game, but were unable to keep the ball out of the air. The Regals had bases loaded in the bottom of the second inning, but were unable to convert due to the stingy defense by the Pirates.
The Regals softball team returns to action Saturday, Feb. 9 when they travel to Chapman.
Published Feb. 6, 2013