Softball opens season with 3 wins

Junior outfielder Maddie Edmonston, above, averaged .250 and had four hits and three runs in the Lion Classic I tournament, which the Lady Lions finished 3-1.
Nikisun Shrestha/The Lion's Roar

The Lady Lions softball team began their season with three wins and a loss in the 2017 Lion Classic I tournament. 

The tournament held from Feb. 11 to Feb. 12 saw some impressive performance from the team in North Oak Park. The Lady Lions started their campaign against Army University  with a 7-4 victory on day two of the tournament. They also played University of Nevada on the same day, where they lost the game 3-1.  

“Yesterday, I thought we had a good win over Army and played well for the opener,” said Head Coach Rick Fremin. “In the Nevada game, we ran up against a great pitcher. She stayed in there all seven innings, had a bunch of strike outs. We really couldn’t catch up with her.”

On the final day of the tournament, the Lady Lions won both their games against Mississippi Valley State 11-5 and Coppin State 6-1.  

“Today, we did a good job of competing and being resilient against Valley to come back in that game,” said Fremin. “In the nightcap, I thought our pitching staff did well and kept the runs to a minimum for the other team, and we did what we needed to do in the late game with runners and scoring positions. So, to end the weekend 3-1, opening weekend, I’m happy right now. We just gotta keep them healthy. We got to just look to the next one and keep working. I really like our team, so I’m impressed.”

Junior outfield player Kinsey Nichols believes the team have jelled together and are playing well as a unit.

“The chemistry is there this year,” said Nichols. “Everyone supports each other, there’s no selfishness. I think we’ll go far this year as well.”

Fremin believes the team has improved since pre-season.

“I think our pitching staff is really working together as a unit,” said Fremin. “We kinda have some starters, middle relievers and closers, and they’re doing a really good job. Offensively, our short game is our strength, how we kind of run the bases and our aggressiveness. That’s gonna be some things that will carry us along the way into the season.”

Fremin and Nichols both feel there are still areas that the team can improve.

“I would say maybe in our short game,” said Nichols. “Like I said, all around, I think we’re a pretty solid team. We have a good defense behind the pitchers, we have good pitching this year. The bats are hot. I think we could just work on our short game.”

Fremin believes the team can improve on being consistent throughout the game.

“Being plugged in for the seven innings, for the entire game and just continuing to be aggressive,” said Fremin. “When a run’s starting to happen, we keep that momentum going throughout the entire game and there not be lulls throughout the game.”

The Lady Lions resume their season at home on Friday Feb. 17 in Lion Classic II.