Co-head coaches Karen and Nicholas Bitter are expecting great things out of their team this year.
The UVa-Wise Softball team is looking to improve coming off their 10-24 record last season. They will look to lean on many key leaders and support from the fans.
Understanding that their record was not where they wanted it to be last year, they set some goals for the incoming season.
Bitter said, “The main goal is to make the conference tournament which will be a rough task.” The league has been split into two divisions where Wise finds themselves in the South with some of the best teams in softball.
Many of the familiar division two opponents are on the schedule for the 2016 softball team including West Virginia State and Glenville State with regional tournament bid winners from last year in Charleston and Concord. Bitter also mentioned the uphill battle of facing the usual first place team West Virginia Wesleyan College.
The Cavs were a team that struggled last year so they understood that new recruits and leadership were a must.
The coaches felt as if the new recruits were fitting in nicely and that some have the potential to make an immediate impact on the field.
Shannon Bennett and Delanie Turner are two that they are looking to in this upcoming season. Bennett is quite capable of making plays in the outfield and limiting extra base hits from left field.
Turner, freshman pitcher, is looking to make her mark in the pitching rotation. Bitter is also hopeful that her captains Mindy Combs, Erika McLaughlin, and Alexa Hernandez will continue to shine in as they go into the final season.
Coming off of snowpocalypse last semester, many wondered if the weather affected the team with the cooler spring season in Wise.
Bitter said “the weather has gotten progressively worse since she has begun coaching but typically the weather doesn’t change the strategy at hand.”
Even with the chilly weather, it doesn’t stop the fans from supporting the team. The softball team is most likely brings in the most fans as the stands are usually packed. The overwhelming support by the students and parents always increases the energy of the team.
The planned season start Wednesday, February 10 against Lincoln Memorial University has been cancelled.
A home doubleheader is scheduled for February 20 against Lees-McRae College before the ladies face a three-game road stretch.