The softball team is engaged in multiple scrimmage games throughout the fall. The games provide experience for the new freshmen players as well as extra practice for all players.
“I think we’re getting a lot of good experience for the freshmen. It’s their first taste of Division I softball,” said Head Coach Sharon Perkins.
“[The purpose of fall games is] to get freshmen experience at this kind of level and to bring our team together as a whole so we can get ready for the spring,” said senior first baseman Whitney Haller.
“I think the point of the fall games is just for us to get experience. We have six coming in, so it’s a bunch of us and to get us acclimated to the college experience. It’s to get us competition and for us to get experience,” said freshman outfielder Jessica Sinclair.
For the fall scrimmages, some of the rules are relaxed. For instance, players may take multiple participations, and the home team may bat an extra inning even though they are winning the game.
Last weekend, the team hosted Georgia State on Saturday and North Georgia on Sunday. The first game against Georgia State featured standout offensive hits from both teams. Junior infielder Jennifer Yee hit two home-runs to boost the team’s score. Haller hit a home-run ball over the left-field fence and a multi-RBI triple to highlight the day.
“I think we did a pretty good job at making adjustments. They would go from a fast pitcher to a slow pitcher, and I think they did a pretty good job of making an adjustment at the plate,” Coach Perkins said.
The second game was a pitching duel. Senior Tiffany Johnson was the starting pitcher for the Jackets, while Sophomore pitcher Emily Schreck pitched the remainder of the game while giving up few runs.
“Tiffany [Johnson] really came out throwing hard; she did a great job. Jessica Coan came out on her first day and was striking people out left and right. Schreck did a good job of closing us out,” Haller said.
“[The freshmen] all did great. Every one of them had a shining moment today. I feel really confident for the spring that they’re going to make a big impact for us,” Haller said.
The Jackets swept the double header over Georgia State, winning 10-4 and 8-4. The Jackets also won both games over North Georgia, 5-2 and 6-2.
“We have a great coaching staff. Our team has a lot of chemistry this year…I’m really excited because I think we’re going to be really good this year,” Sinclair said.
“There are some people we know who would hit the ball well, but there were definitely some new kids who stepped up and we saw some knew things out of them like Jessica Sinclair, Kelsi Weseman and Kate Kuzma. I think everybody stepped up and did their part. [Jessica] Coan did a good job pitching as a freshman. We also saw some good plays from Shannon Bear,” Coach Perkins said.
Last season, the Jackets started the season ranked, but promptly fell out of the rankings when the Jackets lost early in tournaments to unranked teams. This year, the Jackets were able to put together some scrimmages to gain valuable experience for the incoming freshmen, as well as increasing team chemistry and getting some playing time for all members.
The softball team will continue their schedule with a double header against Jacksonville State. Then, they will play the following weekend against Young Harris and Georgia Perimeter. The year will conclude the team’s play at Glenn Field. Next year, the team will play at a brand new stadium.
“We’re just excited to be playing. It’s nice to be playing on this field but we’re more excited about playing at a new stadium next spring,” Coach Perkins said.