Softball Slides Into Season
Just one win away from winning the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association Championship in the 2018 season, the University of Central Oklahoma look to improve with the 2019 season set to begin on Feb. 1.
Head coach Cody White has coached the Bronchos to a 204-90 career record in his five years with the Bronchos. Out of his five seasons, the Bronchos have only missed the post season once, the previous season.
“We missed out on the playoffs for the first time last year you know it hurt, it really cut deep,” White said. “So what that’s done for our returners is it’s really motivated them, it helps them not to take it for granted as well.”
With the new season, seven players are no longer with UCO including All-American Morgan Heard and All-Region Carrie Abrams and Jayden Chestnut.
“I think it opened up our eyes a little bit,” White said. “Realized that work has to be put in to make that and it’s an honor to make that, so it’s really motivated them to get back on track and they want to get back to the playoffs for sure and they’re taking the necessary steps to do that.”
But the Bronchos have nine returning players in Allie Eicher, Lauren Gibson, Jobi Heath, Tori Huslig, Carli Jones, Tori Ritz, Abbey Rumbaugh and Bailey Thompson.
“We’ve talked a lot about our expectations and we’re not really interested in taking what we can’t control,” White said. “We want to work on things really we can control and focus on the process.”
White also said that the Bronchos are fully healthy.
“We’re very thankful for that,” White said. “We’ve spent a lot of time working a lot of rehab and a lot of recovery things for our pitchers we’ve seen some things happen to us last year, we dealt with a lot of injuries last year, so as a coaching staff we’ve made a lot of adjustments on preventative care so everybody’s ready to rock right now.”
The Bronchos will open the season in the Arkansas Tech Invitational against Texas Woman’s University Pioneers in Conroe, Texas on Friday at 10:30 a.m.
They will host their first home game at Broncho Softball Field Feb. 8 when they battle the Cameron University Aggies in the UCO-OC Festival.
“We’ve talked about having that grit, top mindset, playing the game the right way, hustling in and out, being fiery, having a lot of energy feeding off of each other, coming together as a team, that’s my expectations is we’re going to come out here and set a whole new culture this year and be able to feed off that,” White said. “What our hope is that’ll equate to some wins.”