Softball team swings into new season with fresh outlook
On Feb. 1, the UCCS softball team started the 2013 season with a commanding 19-3 victory over Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference rival Regis University.
The game was the first of five the Lady Mountain Lions would play in Denver over the weekend, also snagging wins against Adams State and Metro State.
UCCS softball was picked seventh of 13 teams in the RMAC preseason poll. The new season marks a chance for softball to improve upon its 22-23 (20-20 RMAC) record last from last year.
"We've been picked No. 1 and it didn't work out; we've been picked last and it worked out," said Head Coach Scott Peterson. "It doesn't mean anything. Doesn't mean anything to any coach."
With only one starting player lost to graduation as well as a host of talented newcomers, both the team's coaching staff and players are excited about this season's possibilities.
"We were a .500 team last year, and we're better than that," said Peterson. He will rely on the five seniors on this year's roster to guide the team, one being returning outfielder Landry Davis.
"Expectations are high; we have a lot of talent," said Davis.
The biggest improvement over last season is likely to be seen on the pitching mound. "We're going from one year of pitching experience to six years of experience," Peterson said.
Senior pitcher Becca Smith has returned to the softball diamond after missing the 2012 season. The team has also welcomed back pitchers Jessica Belsterling and Kory Kulpins from a year ago.
Speed and team defense are also possible areas of improvement over last season. "We have a lot of fast girls who will be stealing bases," said Davis.
While many positives can be taken away from the preseason and first week of play, there is still a long season ahead with many other teams also looking to be atop the RMAC conference.
"The RMAC is just a grind," said Peterson. "Every weekend is huge. To say that there is one team we look for would be an insult to the rest of the teams."
Despite the difficult schedule, the Mountain Lions indicated they are prepared for whatever challenges the new season brings. "We're one of the fittest teams," Davis said. "That's what keeps you strong."
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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|April 29, 2013||UCCS seniors win final softball game at home||As her senior teammates were posing for pictures and celebrating, Allie Corids was hauling bases off the field and helping with other maintenance tasks.|
|April 28, 2013||Local colleges||At Mountain Lion Field: A five-run 12th inning gave Colorado State-Pueblo an 8-3 victory in the opening as Colorado-Colorado Springs (23-17-1, 18-13 RMAC) dropped a pair of conference games.|
|April 27, 2013||UCCS sophomore does it all for country, Mountain Lion softball|
|April 22, 2013||Local colleges||At Lakewood: Jourdan Hitchings' two-run double sparked a five-run fourth inning as Colorado-Colorado Springs defeated Western New Mexico 8-0 to salvage a split of Sunday's games.|
|April 21, 2013||Local colleges||At Lakewood: UCCS (22-14-1, 17-10 Rocky Mountain) fell to Colorado Christian (20-19, 16-9) 5-4 and Western New Mexico (17-25, 14-17) 10-6.|