Hilltoppers softball begins in Alabama this week

By Raissa Wagner, Contributing Writer 

Since Jan. 7, 2019, the softball team has been getting ready for their spring season, which is now soon to begin. Their first tournament is going to be at the University of Alabama in Huntsville on the Feb. 8th to the 10th. They will compete in six games against high standard division II teams. Although these games are not part of their conference, it is important for them to practice and be prepared for the actual conference games.

Mountain East Conference games begin the week of March 16. Regarding to the NCAA rules and regulations, they are allowed the maximum of 56 games before the conference tournament starts. The head coach of the softball team, Herb Minch, wants them to play around 50 games depending on the weather conditions. “My expectations for this semester are pretty high, we have as much talent as we probably have ever had in any team here. So the pressure is on me actually, but I think we have big chances to make a great season.” Said Minch.

Along with the excitement of the softball players, it has been announced who the 20 student-athletes that will be selected to travel for the first tournament. “We are very exited to give everything in this first game, and those who also got the spot are definitely going to do well.” Said Sydney Bennington, the senior and captain of the team.

The softball team at West Liberty University almost got in the conference tournament last season. There were two games to go but unfortunately they ended up losing in the last inning of the last game, which kept them out of the tournament. Although the team was very upset about it, it was the closest they got to making the post season in the past few years. This gives them a lot of motivation to make it this year. “My first goal would be to be above 500 and then win the conference tournament or at least make it.” Said Bennington.

The team is very exited and determined to have a successful season. They have being practicing six times per week, including two hours practices and at least lifting and conditioning at least two times per week. “As we compete in a competitive conference, we will need to give our best in the field every time, but the girls are working very hard and I believe we have great chances to do well this semester and hopefully make the conference,” said coach Minch.

Coach Minch says that they had good teams in the past but the conference as a whole it came up a lot. “As we are a young team with one senior and the rest freshman or sophomore, I believe that in one or two years we are going to have the best team West Liberty has ever had.”

Photo Credit: Hilltoppersports.com