[Moderated by Matt Jones]
Earlier today I had the pleasure of attending my first media day event. While my main reason for attending was to cover the baseball team and gain experience, I also had the pleasure of hearing from the softball team during the event. While I’ve personally never spent much time in my life watching softball, there’s no denying after today that the softball program here at UK is something worth paying attention to. Over the last 2 years the softball team has seen a lot of success and the team seems poised to keep that going. On to some notes and quotes from the afternoon…
Probably the most exciting thing going into the season is the new Softball Complex, which will be completed by the home opener in March. The new complex, which broke ground in back in September of last year, will replace the old complex which has been home to the Softball team since 1995. One of the main objectives for building a new complex was to gain the ability to host as many tournaments as possible, a goal which will be achieved later this year when UK plays host to the SEC Tournament. Below is a quote from Coach Lawson on the new stadium and how it compares to the rest of the SEC:
[The new stadium] is going to provide us with an opportunity to train at the highest level possible. There are certainly unbelievable stadiums in the SEC, but nobody is going to have a better set up when you take the stadium and new indoor facility into consideration.
The big theme from Lawson’s press conference was athleticism. Coach Lawson believes that athleticism is the key to the season and will play a huge role in the team’s offense. Lawson said that, while hitting mechanics are important, the offense will rely heavily on baserunning this season and athleticism is of the utmost importance. She then added that athleticism was one of the things she looked for most in her recent recruiting class.
Because the construction of the new complex will spill over into the beginning of the season, the team will begin the 2013 season playing their first 20 games on the road. Lawson noted that one of the biggest disadvantages to playing on the road is not having the Big Blue Nation behind them, something which she has been impressed with over the last couple seasons. Though it will be tough, she also joked about the advantage of playing in 70 degree weather in Arizona while it’s freezing here in The Commonwealth. Here’s what else she had to say about playing on the road:
Softball players, we don’t know anything but travelling so it’s going to be difficult, but it’s a lot of fun… We’ll just have to take care of our bodies and keep our minds right, but we’re pretty excited and we’ll be really excited to get back here March 6.
On top of Lawson’s press conference, there were also two players, Kara Dill and Lauren Cumbess, who were available for interviews. Below are some quotes from them.
I think we have a lot more depth this year. With the freshman class that we did bring in, defensive-wise, we have depth and it makes it easier for the people who are playing to know you’re not the only one, like you have backup who is just as good. It makes practices a lot better, very competitive with one another, that you want to beat that other person but at the end of the day, we are teammates so we did make each other better
I don’t really look at it in a certain way. I think everybody, coach says, has a certain leadership role. It is fun to be put in that position. I have always liked being in leadership positions anyways. I think it will be fun with Kara (Dill) and Alice (O’Brien).
Yeah, we got to practice on it last week and the first time that we went out there, and it’s not even done yet, we just stood there and were all smiling at it. It was unbelievable going from, when you’re on the field you can see everything behind you, to having a stadium there. I don’t even know how to explain it. It was the coolest thing.
Follow me @DeanBowlingKSR for all your UK baseball and softball updates(or at least most of them)
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