Softball takes an optimistic outlook on upcoming invitational

The softball team started the season with some hard hits. After a 0-7 losing streak, the Stangs will be facing four universities Friday and Saturday on home grounds at Mustangs Park.

“Just because we lost, that doesn’t predict our future,” Jacey Henry, pitcher and elementary education junior, said. She talked about how the players are coming in with the perspective of a new start, trying to see themselves at a 0-0 record rather than a 0-7.

Last year, softball won twice back-to-back against both Northwestern and Southwestern Oklahoma State, and they will be facing them again in the upcoming games.

“Optimism is key,” Kelsey Eropkin, outfielder and psychology senior, said. “We’re focusing not on how we start, but on how we finish.”

The location could be another factor of the losses, as last year, the Stangs won 17 of 19 home games, while winning one of 16 away games.

Marley Eller, outfielder and pre-med junior, agreed. Players had to travel from seven to 12 hours to get to the first games of this season in Arkansas and Alabama. She said the familiarity of their home field will assist the team in their next four games.

Brooke Taylor, infielder and business sophomore, said she saw the recent losses as a “wake-up call.” She talked about their work on situational plays and fundamentals.

Beyond outlook and physical practice, the players said they have been improving on being a team.

“We’ve been putting our focus on being a team; being a family,” Eller said.

The Stangs are looking forward to taking on the University of Nebraska-Kearney and Northwestern Oklahoma State this Friday, Feb. 14 and Southwestern Oklahoma State and Regis University on Saturday, Feb. 15.

“We’re going to play hard, and play as a team,” Henry said.

When asked, Head Coach Mark Ryal declined to comment.