The weather is warming up, and that could mean many things—one of them being the beginning of softball season.
The Dixie State College softball team has its first game Wednesday at 3 p.m. at the Karl Brooks Field.
“It’ll be exciting,” said outfielder Bailee Freeland, a sophomore accounting major from Ogden. “We’re playing Montana State-Billings and it’s going to be a good game. They’re a tough team, and we’ll have to play hard, but I think we’ll be OK if we play together.”
Outfielder Kylee Bufton, a senior communication major from Spanish Fork, said she expects good results in the game Wednesday.
“We’ve normally done really well against them, so we’re just hoping to have a good start off for our season and get a win,” Bufton said.
The team is excited for its season, and it is hoping to win Regionals and compete at Nationals.
“I expect us to have a good season,” Bufton said. “We have a good returning squad, so we should do really well. We’re just ready to start.”
The team has new recruits who will help it be successful. Freeland said the players have talent to keep the team in good shape over the upcoming years.
“We have four freshmen right now and they all are huge players,” Freeland said. “They could all be a big influence on our team this year. They all have big roles to fill.”
Infielder Rochelle Judkins, outfielder Kristie Johnson, pitcher Siera Phillips and catcher Autumn Woodfall are the four freshmen expected to perform well this season.
The team also has high expectations for returning players.
Junior pitcher Mattie Snow pitched an average of .253 against 162 left-handed batters, and she also pitched an average of .202 against 361 right-handed batters. Sophomore outfielder Courtney Sherwin hit an average of .363 for 135 at-bats for the overall season. Senior first baseman Anna Cue hit an average of .258 for 93 at-bats for the overall season.
“Mattie Snow, she’s probably one of our best pitchers,” Bufton said. “She’ll do really well. Courtney Sherwin was a very good hitter for us last year. Anna Cue was a good hitter for us. There’s just a lot of us that will do really well.”
Freeland said hitting and pitching are both very noticeable strengths for the team so far.
“We just have to work with our strengths,” Freeland said. “We have really good pitching and a good lineup, so we need to focus more on ourselves not on what [the other team is] doing. We just need to do the best we can and we’ll be successful.”
Last year the team had a 38-13 overall record and reached the NCAA Regionals where they advanced to the championship and fell to the NCAA National runner-up. This year the team is hoping to win Regionals as well as win Nationals.
“We’re trying to work on what we do best… and just play our game,” Bufton said.
The Red Storm start their season Wednesday against Montana State University-Billings at the Karl Brooks field at 3 p.m.