Softball experiments with lineup
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After nine games, the CWU softball team is sitting 6-3 on the season.
The Wildcats, who have been led by standout player Kailyn Campbell, are looking to make this year better than last and they are already breaking records.
In their first tournament of the season, the Wildcats broke another school record under the reign of head coach Mike Larabee, scoring 21 runs in a single game against California State University Dominguez Hills.
“At the time, we had no idea we were setting a record, but looking back, it’s pretty amazing to know what we are capable of,” senior infielder Taylor Ferleman said.
Ferleman was one of five players to put two runs up on the board.
Senior shortstop Kailyn Campbell and junior designated hitter and first baseman Taelor Griffin both put up three runs.
However, with three losses already on the season, the former nationally ranked team has some work to do if it wants to make it back to the regional tournament this spring.
“We just played down to our opponent’s level, and we can’t do that,” Campbell said.
The Wildcats were dropped from its national ranking after losing in not only Las Vegas but St. George as well. There is one national spotlight the team is keeping its eye on and that is the Division 2 Player of the Year Watch List.
Campbell, one of the team’s strongest hitters, has been put on that watch list, but Larabee doesn’t think that will affect her or how she plays.
“One thing about her is she understands that in order to get any kind of award like that is it’s all about the team first,” Larabee said. “She understands that if the team doesn’t do well she won’t get any awards like that.”
With the loss of five seniors last season, the team is still adjusting to the new leadership roles that belong to Ferleman, Campbell and senior Sammy Morris.
With a very young infield this year, the team is looking to the experience of Campbell and Ferleman to lead the team and help younger players rise to the best of their ability.
“I think that we have a big influence in the infield with [Campbell and Ferleman] and I think they hold them to a higher standard,” junior utility player Jacie McDaniels said.
Larabee says that he is very confident with the current lineup changes, but that no lineup is guaranteed.
“I feel like with the rotations of catching and in the outfield, it’s still early and we don’t have a 100 percent line up,” Larabee said. “We need to get stronger defensively in a few positions, always trying to figure out what our strongest lineup is.”
With the two week break between games, the team is working on the struggles faced in Las Vegas and St. George.
“I think that once we get it all pieced together we will do a lot better than we are doing now,” junior outfielder Celine Fowler said. “One game our defense is on one weekend and the next our offense is on, but once we get them both pieced together we will be pretty unstoppable,” Fowler said.
With the upcoming games at home against Pacific Lutheran University, the team is practicing indoors while waiting for the weather to warm up.