The MVNU softball team will open the season the first week of March with two home series.
After a strong 2014 campaign, the Lady Cougars look to continue their growth as a program with another winning season.
Last year’s 21-20 record was due in part to strong senior leadership which head coach Jeana
Howald believes will carry on with the players currently on the team.
“I feel like we have a really strong core with our junior class,” Howald said.
This year’s team features a junior class of six players, all of whom started regularly for the Lady Cougars last spring and are expected to see plenty of time on the field this year as they try for another successful season.
Senior catcher Morgan Wade also returns to the roster this year after a one-year sabbatical from softball.
In her first two seasons with the Lady Cougars, she averaged .264 and hit 6 homeruns. Howald said Wade’s return will be a boost for the team.
“Morgan is a really strong leader for us and and off the field,” she said.
The lone senior on the team, Wade said she is impressed by the strong character of the rest of the team.
“I don’t really feel like I’m the only senior,” Wade said. “I am surrounded by such great leadership and hard work from every class on the team that I forget that I am the only senior.”
Howald also addressed the pitching staff, which lost its leader last year in Ashley Riffell. Riffell appeared in 25 games for the Lady Cougars and led the team in wins, innings pitched, and ERA.
“I feel very good about our pitching staff,” Howald said. “Lauren (Arndt) and Courtney (Rengert) will be on the mound for us and we feel really good about Anna (Boue) and Savannah (Bryner).”
Freshman pitchers Boue and Bryner add some depth to a pitching rotation that saw 195 runs scored last year and tended to suffer in middle innings.
The Lady Cougars will play at home for the first time on March 5 against Lourdes University (Ohio) at 3 p.m.
Photo by Grant Taylor.