Langlois projecting improvement over last year

Despite one of the worst seasons in recent history in his immediate rear view mirror, head softball coach Pete Langlois is cautiously optimistic that this year will turn out better than the last.  
"We think we're pretty good right now. Of course we thought we were pretty good last year," said Langlois. "It's just that we had a bad start. Sometimes we argue over it's not how you start, it's how you finish. As you know, if you don't start out winning, it's hard to figure out how to win throughout all the hard times. So we're going to try and get out and start harder this year, and I think we're going to be okay."
After a pitching staff that posted a less-than-stellar 4.54 team ERA last season, Langlois feels that, behind senior Kenna Terry and junior Jessie Browne, the pitching staff will not be an issue this year.
"Of course Kenna's been really strong on the mound over the last two seasons, look for her as a senior to really work hard. And we think Jessie Browne will have a 'come out' year," Langlois said. "She's a junior and it's time for her to get going, and she's worked really hard in the off-season. We think – we don't think, we know – we're a lot better in the circle this year."
However, Langlois has one trick up his sleeve in freshman Taylor Bishop, who has been known to rise to the occasion when playing in clutch situations.
"We've got a freshman, Taylor Bishop out of Texas, she's a junker and can really spin it up there a lot," said Langlois. "She has a tendency to slow down the big teams and the big hitters, she'll be our surprise pitcher."
Perhaps the biggest story coming from the circle is not the fact that the rotation improved all together, but Browne's maturation process, who just two years ago lost her mother in the middle of her freshman campaign.
"Jessie had to mature some," Langlois said. "You see a lot of this stuff on TV, where these guys are playing through injuries and through deaths in their family, but as you know Jessie's mom passed away two years ago, on game day, while she was in the bullpen warming up to throw the game. So she's lived on her own with her sister for two years now. Well now she's gotten past that. She's grown past it, and has matured as an athlete and as a young lady."
Outside of the rotation, Langlois is looking to several upperclassmen to fill the void in leadership. Senior Kelsey Nichols, junior Tori Sheppard and sophomore Megan Moore were all mentioned to be leaders for a Lady Lions team that is looking to right the ship after last year.