Sunday, January 23, 2011

Something Special on the Horizon

Follow ericataylor24 on Twitter

RSU softball gearing up for 2011 season

Usually the new season will bring about new goals. Just like new years will bring about new resolutions. But for Rogers State softball Head Coach Mark Dicus, he expects the same goal every season and that’s fighting for a national championship.

“It’s the gold ball at the end that we’re chasing,” said Dicus.

He’s expectations are rightfully so. Last year’s softball team finished the season nationally ranked top ten in 12 different categories. RSU finished fifth in the Sooner Athletic Conference with a 35-26 record slugging at 53.8% while being ranked third in the country in home runs per game.

Going into the new season the Hillcats are fully loaded with talent and experience. Dicus has the privilege of returning ten Hillcats, eight of those being starters with the addition of seven newcomers.

Among the talent returners are sophomore Lindsey Curtis and Senior Brittany White. Curtis completed her rookie season ranked second in the nation with 26 homeruns. The Collinsville, Okla., product posted an .851 slugging percentage and tallied 154 total bases.

White earned first-team all-conference accolades. The Ashdown, Ark., native hit .397 with a team-leading 31 stolen bases. White led the Hillcats with 11 doubles and three triples while also driving in 24 runs.

Discus is expecting big things out of his freshman Kirsten Leppla. The Miami, Okla., native five-tool capabilities managed to capture an infield starting spot. She averaged .709 on 39 of 55, hit 13 doubles, seven home runs and drove in 31 runs in her senior year at Wyandotte High School.

“She’s just the total package to be so young,” added Dicus.

Hailing from Canada, sophomore Amanda Edwards is another fresh face for RSU. Edwards will have duo roles as the pitcher and first baseman for the Hillcats. She earned second team eastern region all-star accolades in her rookie season at Spokane Falls College last season.

A catalyst on the defensive end for the Hillcats will be sophomore shortstop Ashlie Fauchier. She started all 62 games for the Cats last season and received the SAC’s golden glove award ranking No. 4 in the nation in total assists.

Four-year starter and third baseman senior Katie Bointy and senior catcher Dina Ortiz are also expected to put up big numbers for the Hillcats this season.

RSU softball looks to be bursting with talent in all areas along with the substantial amount of experience will be the driving force behind the team’s run for a national appearance.

“We’ve upgraded our pitching, we’ve up graded our defense and we feel like we’ve upgraded the offense as well, so the years’ experience for most of the kids will help us out immensely,” said Dicus.

RSU’s quest for winning a national championship will most certainly be a tough battle. Standing in their way is a perennial national power house Oklahoma City who have won seven national championships out of the past 17 seasons and finished last season with the best SAC conference record (31-5).

Lubbock Christian could also be a road block for the Hillcats. The Lady Chaps were crowned SAC champions last season and have made back-to-back appearances in the national tournament in just two years of softball existence at LCU.

Southern Nazarene and St. Gregory’s could pose a threat for RSU Hillcats as well.

RSU softball is excited about what the new season has in store for them. The Hillcats will spring into action February 15 with a double-header on the road against Bacone College in Muskogee, Okla.
* For softball season schedule go to website

No comments:

Post a Comment