Last season didn’t go quite as planned for the softball team here at Roosevelt. The squad finished with an 11-37 record overall, while going only 5-17 in conference play. Although last year wasn’t really successful, this current roster is younger and deeper than those in the past, and is aiming to set a new tone for the program in order to start making history.
Since the end of last season, third-year Head Coach Aaron Moore has added nine new players to the roster, with seven freshman and two junior transfers almost doubling the size of last years roster.
“Anytime you mix a large group of new players and a large group of returning players it takes time to figure things out,” said Moore. “I’m really excited about the new girls we brought in. We’re deeper than ever before which allows for a lot of moveable pieces to compete with.”
Junior outfielder Amber Green echoed Coach Moore’s excitement. “Going through two tough seasons has made us upperclassman even more excited about this group of new recruits. They are all extremely talented and will add depth to compete even more this year,” Green said.
This young team has lofty expectations, and are looking to make the CCAC tournament for the first time in program history. “This year we’re challenging the girls to no longer have moral victories. Last year we’d find small victories in every game, but now we’re trying to turn those moral victories into wins on the field. This is the most talented and athletic group I’ve had and once we start to fully come together, we have a chance to do some good things,” Moore said.
Green had similar expectations for the season as well. “The end goal is to make the CCAC tournament. We are probably viewed as the underdogs in our conference, which will change this year, making it even more exciting to get on the field and show the talent we have. We all want to win and show everyone the hard work we have put in since last year,” Green said.
Senior Haley Huss also added, “To be successful this season we’ll need to play to our strengths and buy into what we’ve been working on. Coach Moore has worked hard to prepare us for the season and has pushed us to grow as players which I believe will help us achieve our goals.”
The Lakers are already five games into their 2019 campaign, and currently sit at 0-5. Although their record doesn’t reflect it, there are a number of positives to take away from the opening stretch of the season. This team has been able to hit and put up runs with everyone they’ve faced. Aisley Njissang and Caitlyn Santiago have already hit home runs this year while Haley Huss is batting .563 after 16 plate appearances. Riley Landenberger also has four hits and four RBIs early on. Unfortunately, injuries have been a major issue early on and have spread the pitching staff thin. Juniors Brinn Arwood and Riley Landenberger haven’t been able to pitch, which has left the load to be split between four pitchers.
“If we can get our starters through four to five innings and then give things to our back end I like our chances a lot better,” said Moore. “Our pitchers who come in have to do better and be deeper though. Brianna McCormick did a great job this first weekend, but we had to pitch her too much. We need our pitchers to attack the zone and be more aggressive.”
Now, the Lakers look toward a tough stretch where they’ll play twelve games in seven days. “We have to take advantage of the games we should win and find a way sneak out some others,” said Moore. “I think we should be able to shock a lot of the conference.”