After completing nearly the first half of its season, the softball team is aiming for conference competition wins to receive a top placement in the tournament at the end of the season.
During spring break, the Coyotes went 9-5. The team first traveled to DeLand, Fla., to compete in the Stetson University Tournament. Over a three-day period, the Coyotes managed two wins against the Memphis Tigers and the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats, while they lost two games against the Stetson Hatters.
Head coach Amy Klyse said the team played against many different levels of competition during the games.
“It exposed a bunch of different things for us,” she said. “We were able to take some risks that we can’t in conference games just to see what some of our players can do.”
The team managed to stack more wins the following week in the start of its spring games schedule. After five days of competition, the women took away seven wins and three losses.
Senior infielder Kassie Loe said as a team, the Coyotes did well.
“We had great pitching, we had great hitting, but in the games that we lost we were just missing all of the aspects to win,” Loe said.
The second half of the season is important to the team’s placement in the conference tournament, Klyse said.
This year the tournament’s top two seeds receive a bye for the first week, which Klyse said would be instrumental in tournament play.
“We need to do all three aspects of the game. We need to pitch well, hit well and play defense well,” she said.
To start off conference play, the team traveled to Omaha, Neb., March 21 to take on the Omaha Mavericks.
“Our goal was to be the best we could be going into these conference games,” Klyse said. “They will set the tone for the rest of the season.”
The Coyotes came out of the weekend with one win and two losses against the Mavericks.
First-year pitcher Rachel Cue said the team is looking to win every game for the remainder of the season.
“Basically we can’t lose,” she said. “We need to do the best we can if we want to become conference champs.”
In continuing conference competition, the softball team will face Iowa State March 27 in Ames, Iowa, and Fort Wayne March 29-30 in Fort Wayne, Ind.