Softball team prepares for upcoming season

Evelyn Knox, Staff Writer

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The Wayne State softball team was picked 16th overall with 28 points in the 2020 NSIC Preseason Softball Coaches Poll.

WSC finished the 2019 season 15-32 overall and was 6-24 in NSIC league games. The Wildcats will return four starters in the field and two starting pitchers from last year’s team.

Junior third baseman Ashley Hernandez and sophomore pitcher Makenna Adkison were selected as Wildcat Players to Watch in the NSIC for the 2020 season.

“We are really motivated to exceed everyone’s expectations for us this year. We know what we can do, so now we just have to prove it to everyone else,” sophomore outfielder Kortney Buresh said. “We are excited to show everyone how hard we have been working in the off season.”

For the 2020 season the Wildcats have added nine new players to the roster- Hadley Chvatal, Riley Holmberg, Molli Vasa, Madison Gomez, Sloan Cooksey, Clare Reinhart, Natalie Arbizu, Paiton Tornberg and Emily Hale – and no seniors.

Augustana is the defending NCAA Division II National Champion and was also listed as the team to beat in the NSIC this season with 13 first place votes and 223 points. Winona State trailed in second place in the Preseason Coaches Poll with three first place votes and 213 points.

“We have a very young team this year, which we will use to our advantage of putting the past behind us and working towards the future,” Buresh said. “Being such a young team has made the off season very tough. It took us a while to figure out how to work as a team as a young and new group. Many of us have not played together before.”

Hernandez, a 5-4 junior third baseman from Omaha, was selected as the Wildcat Position Player to Watch this season.

Hernandez is also the top returning hitter from the 2019 season with a .283 average while posting a team high 13 doubles and was tied for second in the team with 10 multi-hit games.

Adkison, a 5-4 sophomore right-handed pitcher from Gilbert, Arizona, was selected as the Wildcat Pitcher to Watch this season after throwing a team high 116 innings last season. Adkison recorded two shutouts with a 5.55 ERA and a team high 51 strikeouts with a 5-14 record.

“We have already improved so much from the fall as a team so we are all very eager to see how much we will improve when our games start up,” sophomore catcher Kamryn Sparks said. “One goal we have for this year as a team is to play within ourselves and to keep our composure. We know how much talent and potential we have so it is important for us to remember that and to believe in each other.”

Wayne State will open the 2020 season on Friday, Feb. 14, at the Arkansas Monticello/ 8-State Classic in Bentonville, Arkansas, and will play Henderson State (Ark.) and Southwest Baptist.

Alison Gardner
Coach Danielle Turner leads Wildcat softball players in workout