Well the Super bowl is over--- you know what that means for “our kind.” By, our kind, I mean it’s the fanatics of Baseball and Softball. I'm talking about the athletes and coaches that spent the winter training and practicing. It’s Softball Season! It’s Baseball Season. It’s Spring Training and it is pre-season! The sun even starts to come out in some places (but who knows with this years Snowpocalypse!). That’s right, this past weekend the NCAA Div. 1 softball season officially kicked off.
This is one of the most exciting parts of the season and at this point, it is anyone’s game. Any team can put together a championship season. The only hope we, as players or coaches have, are that all the work, sweat, and frustration of hard… really hard practices is going to pay off on the field. Anything can happen, and most unexpected things can happen. … But you can definitely feel it...now is the time that college preseason tournaments are going on! Whether you are 5 years old starting your first season of rec ball or your senior year of college... there is no doubt that it’s an exciting time of the year!
Okay---Are you ready I’m going to grace this blog with some thoughts on the state of NCAA softball:
1. In the past years, we are seeing more and more power in the game—will this year be a hitting year or a speed year? Offenses need to have both but with more and more homeruns going over the fence... is the slapping game going away or is it going to be more important?
2. As hitting has dramatically improved in the game ---Will the old standby of "defense wins championships" stand true?
3. Conferences- with conferences in a jumble and the Snowpocalypse gracing most of the East coast (and other areas) I expect the powerhouses dealing with snow, to get off to a slow start… but that could be a blessing in disguise, by peaking at just the right time in May/June. ---Only if they are mentally strong in the beginning.
4. Speaking of the Mental Game. This is going to be the biggest challenge for the girls out there. They have to find a way to stay in the game for each pitch. Especially when things go wrong and when things go right--- you know what they say, it’s not over till it’s over… or the fat lady sings. There is always a chance.
5. The Hard is what makes it great. Plain and simple so prepare, be ready, think outside the box, think inside the box, know what makes you and know what makes your team successful. So you can really be ready to “BringIt!” when the moment calls for you too.
6. Go VOLS!
Tennessee Lady Vols- come off a second place finish with an outstanding pitcher in the circle and come out ranked #1 in the preseason poll. Ellen Renfroe has the chance to be uber successful but the question in the TN circle is will Ellen be able to carry the load by herself? And will she be as effective without the power pitcher Ivy Renfroe next too her?
In my opinion, the answer is yes! Ellen will be just as effective without power pitcher Ivy behind her. I challenge her to relax through her pitching when she is feeling fatigue instead of pressing/fighting to work harder. This is the best way to make the best of your pitches when you are throwing all the time, for you team. That and always ice whether it’s a short practice or a 10 inning game. Ellen, I challenge you to keep up your pitching endurance and your leg endurance throughout the entire year.
Monica Abbott #14