With the Utah State University Eastern Lady Eagles softball team starting conference play this upcoming weekend, the team as well as the coaching staff seems very optimistic.
“Going into conference play is always exciting. I am looking forward to seeing this team compete and show that the adversity they have faced has only made them tougher, stronger, and more competitive,” said newly hired head coach Katelyn Groves.
Although the girls were able to pull off a 10-1 record during pre-season, they have faced a lot of adversity throughout the last year. With a new addition to the coaching staff, the team has been able to have more hands on deck to prepare them for the upcoming season.
“This team has a ton of depth, and can show different looks to teams when needed,” said Coach Groves. “We have a very versatile group in the circle, as well as at the plate and on defense. All of that mixed with the amount of love and care the girls have for eachother are huge advantages going forward.”
With the Lady Eagles outstanding show in preseason, their pitching staff is going into conference strong with 50 strikeouts and a combined 4.10 ERA. Although the pitching staff has been strong, they aren’t the only thing leading the Eagles. Hitters have started strong with 125 hits, 80 RBIs, and 87 runs, the bats are rolling into this weekend hot.
“We are a hungry group that had success early on,” added Groves. “I see that being something we can and want to continue to grow off. Maintaining confidence in ourselves, taking care of us and controlling what we can control will make all the difference. If we can do that, the sky’s the limit.”
The Lady Eagles will be going up against the Salt Lake Community College Bruins, Snow College Badgers, Southern Idaho Golden Eagles, Southern Nevada Coyotes, and the Colorado Northwestern Spartans. Your Lady Eagles matchup well when it comes down to head-to-head. The College of Southern Idaho is coming off hot after claiming the Scenic West Athletic Conference last season. However, our Lady Eagles have the most experience with eight returning sophomores, leading the SWAC Conference. Sophomores, Kalsey Lopes and Alex Deming are two of the most exciting hitters to watch in the box, they started out hot in preseason and hope it can carry into conference play. Along with being led in the pitchers circle by sophomore Lexi Butterfield.
The Lady Eagles conference opener starts this weekend, Mar. 3-4, against the SLCC Bruins. Games will be held in Grand Junction, Colorado due to weather.