The Central Arkansas softball team is just a week away from their opening tournament in Gulf Shores, AL as they take on teams like Samford State University and the #25 team University of South Alabama on Feb. 13 in the Sand Dollar Classic.
Heading into the first game, the Bears have a stout new lineup even after some big losses in personnel after last season. Despite being ranked third overall in the coaches and sports information directors poll, the Bears feel as though they have the clout to finish higher than projected.
“We have great chemistry again this year, and we all have a lot of confidence in each other to do our job. Rankings don’t really affect us. We know that if we always try our best we have a great chance to beat anyone,” senior second baseman Sarah Bigej said.
With experienced upperclassmen going into the new season it was no surprise that the Bears would be well represented on the preseason all-conference team. Senior outfielders Sarah Bigej and Sam Forrest, along with senior outfielder Jessie Taylor and junior outfielder Briana Whisenhunt, will show out for the Bears.
A new recruit for the Bears this season, sophomore shortstop Kate Myers, feels as though this team has a tough offseason behind them that will allow for success in the upcoming season.
“I think that we have great potential and team chemistry. If we continue to work hard success will not be a question but a reality,” she said.
Ultimately, every team wishes to finish on top of the conference each season with a shot at the NCAA regional tournament.
Senior third baseman Samantha Forrest feels as though postseason success is within reach.
“During the offseason we have been really focusing on defense. We know that we lost a really great pitcher last year and that means our pitchers this year are pitching to contact. I am excited to prove the polls wrong and show them just how good we are this year,” she said.
The Bears take on Samford State first in the Sand Dollar Classic on Feb. 12 at noon. They will finish the weekend against Southeast Missouri State University on Feb. 14 at 9 a.m.
image via myfountainonline.com