Softball Player Preview

By MJ Arjomandi published January 29, 2014

Coach Peterson is very confident about the outlook of the upcoming season and quality of the team. According to Peterson, "our strength this season is going to be our athleticism and our pitching. Pitching is the most important thing in softball, and we have four pretty darn good ones. We are the deepest in that position than we have been in years."

The team returns Jessica Belsterling, who enters her fourth season as a Mountain Lions starting pitcher, Korey Kulpins, who enters her junior season with one full year of starting pitching experience, as well as two incoming freshmen that Coach Peterson is very confident in.

Jessica Belsterling was named to the All-RMAC Preseason Team. Coach Peterson commented on this honor for his four year starter, stating "We are excited for Jessica. I think she has proven over the last three years that she is one of the better players in the league. We think Jess is going to do great both offensively and defensively."

Last season Belsterling, finished fifth in the RMAC for homeruns (12) and for RBIs (41). Belsterling also ended the season 10th in the conference for strikeouts (82), as one of the predominant pitchers for the Mountain Lions.

UCCS as a team finished last season first in the RMAC for batting average of (.341). Coach Peterson expects similar results this season explaining that he "doesn't see a lot of strikeouts with this group. Every hitter, one through nine, makes really good contact with the ball."

The Mountain Lions also finished last season as the best statistical defense in terms of fielding percent (.965). The infield for UCCS this season will see a mixture of familiar faces as well newcomers to the team. Dani Fonseca and Emily Jennings both return from last season, and will join two new Mountain Lions in the infield.

Fonseca and Jennings both finished last season with a high fielding percent at .964 and .978 respectively. The outfield this season will be protected by two returning seniors, Jennifer Schellenberg and Jourdan Hitchings, as well as another new UCCS student-athlete to be determined. Those two returning seniors will also likely be the two lead off batters for the Mountain Lions this season. Schellenberg hit .303 last season and was successful in 6-of-7 stolen base attempts. Hitchings hit .363 and stole 14-of-15 bases.

The anchor for the defense this season, playing behind the plate as catcher, will be senior Becca Needler. Regarding his commander on the field, Coach Peterson praised Needler by stating "She is very smart, and I think last year she really grew." Simply put, Peterson said "she's great, we are ready to roll with Becca."

When asked about his overall outlook of the season and how he feels to begin the 2014 campaign, Coach Peterson said, "we are excited. It's a new season and we are optimistic of course, but the team this year is very athletic." 

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Jessica BelsterlingJessica Belsterling4PSr.
Korey KulpinsKorey Kulpins23PJr.
Dani FonsecaDani Fonseca34IF/PSo.
Emily JenningsEmily Jennings24IFJr.
Jennifer SchellenbergJennifer Schellenberg3OFSr.
Jourdan HitchingsJourdan Hitchings5OFSr.
Becca NeedlerBecca Needler9CSr.
Additional News Stories
February 6, 2014Mountain Lions Begin the Season This Weekend in Las VegasThe University of Colorado Colorado Springs softball team officially begins the 2014 season this upcoming weekend as the team travels to Las Vegas, Nev., to participate in the Desert Stinger Tournament hosted by Montana State University Billings.
January 31, 2014Season-Opening Weekend CancelledSnowfall in the Pikes Peak Region and forecasted cold temperatures cancelled the season-opening softball doubleheader between the University of Colorado Colorado Springs and Colorado Mines, scheduled for Feb. 1.
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