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Baseball, softball kick off seasons

February 16, 2012

 

Senior outfielder Justin Gordey and the Bulldog baseball squad will kick off their 2012 season Friday as they begin a three-game series with UT-Arlington at J.C. Love Field. –Archived photo

Senior outfielder Kendra Harmin will try to keep the Lady Techster softball team in the win column Friday as they begin the UL-Lafayette Tournament. –Archived photo

Anna Claire Thomas
Sports Editor

Reina Kempt
Associate Sports Editor

 

 

It’s quickly approaching springtime in Ruston which can only mean one thing: the return of Bulldog baseball and Lady Techster softball to keep us busy.

 

The Bulldogs are ready to slide into the 2012 campaign, starting with a three-game home series against UT-Arlington Friday through Sunday at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park.

 

The ’Dogs are coming off a season that saw them go 34-27 and return some key components to last year’s squad despite losing a few of their star players in last year’s Major League Baseball Draft.

 

Junior pitcher Jeb Stefan will no doubt shine on the mound for Tech after posting an earned run average of 4.52 last season and notching seven wins on the year.

 

Head coach Wade Simoneaux said his team will feed off the leadership of his upperclassmen, his two seniors, first basemen Alex Williams and outfielder Justin Gordey in particular.

 

“They lead by the examples they set,” he said. “They’re not really the vocal type. They set good examples for our guys on and off the field. They’ve stepped up as leaders and we have a good group of juniors as well.”

 

Simoneaux spoke of the importance of having good chemistry within the team, which he thinks has been top notch so far this spring.

 

“It’s the best since I’ve been here,” he said. “They like each other a lot and they play hard together. Hopefully we’ll start this season the way we finished last year.”

 

While the Bulldog baseball team has yet to begin their campaign, the Lady Techster softball team is in full swing, with the team playing in last weekend’s LSU tournament that saw them leave Baton Rouge with a 1-3 record on the year.

 

After matching up with tough competition last weekend, the Lady Techster softball team look to impress in the UL-Lafayette Tournament Friday through Sunday as they will play five games in a span of three days.

 

They will meet up with notably good teams like North Carolina, Northwestern and the host team ULL in the tournament.

 

The Techsters have already experienced some hardships this early in the season with losses against teams like LSU and two nail-biters to Michigan last weekend as they competed in the LSU Tournament.

 

With a preseason Western Athletic Conference ranking of six out of eight teams, head coach Sarah Dawson said the team has to stay focused.

 

“We just have to focus on ourselves,” Dawson said. “We have a lot of figuring out to do and we will come into every game striving to get better.”

 

Dawson said she is looking forward to her squad showing their focus with a difficult schedule in store.

 

More importantly, she looks for her upperclassmen like senior catcher Allie Geisler and senior outfielder Kendra Harmon to keep the five freshman they have on the squad level headed.

 

Dawson said while she can guarantee that a few of the freshmen will be put to the test early, she expects them to step up and play hard this season. Also, with their main pitcher from last year graduated, Dawson is still trying to find a perfect fit to fill that position.

 

Geisler is seen as the most vocal Techster on the squad and she said being the veteran leader on the field is something she feels she needs to do.

 

“I’m someone people can turn to when they have a question,” Geisler said. “I know about this game so I’m able to help them out. The freshmen make it easy because they want to listen and learn.”

 

Both teams are set to take to the diamond this weekend in their respective contests.

 

Email comments to act013@latech.edu or rjk007@latech.edu.

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