Author Topic: Softball team eager to begin season  (Read 4509 times)

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Softball team eager to begin season
« on: February 10, 2011, 10:55:40 AM »
By Jon Moffett

jmoffett@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

It’s been a long and tough winter — even by Youngstown’s standards.

So you can’t exactly blame the Youngstown State softball team for dreaming of some sun and warmer days sometime soon. And they’re in luck, because the season starts Saturday with the Phoenix Leadoff Cla$$ic at Elon University in North Carolina.

Sun — check.

Warm weather — check.

Oh, and softball — check.

Head coach Brian Campbell said the team is excited to begin the season, his third at the helm of the Penguins, with the trip south.

“We’ll see dirt on Friday for the first time in months,” he said. And that’s not really a joke.

The Northeast Ohio climate has forced the Penguins to remain indoors to train. And while the Youngstown weather may be conducive to an actual penguin, it hasn’t been so kind to the softball team. Campbell said the team has trained and practiced as best they can with the weather. And a lot of extra time has been spent in the batting cages.

“Northern teams tend to hit better because they’ve been in the cages all winter,” he said. “I think there is a little bit of a disadvantage, obviously, for the northern teams over the southern teams that have been outside and on their fields for a while. But the northern teams are usually better hitting teams than the southern ones, so it’s almost a little bit of a reversal.”

Campbell said the Penguins, who finished last season with a record of 8-42, will have a more aggressive offense — one he hopes should be on full display at the tournament.

“I think we’ve worked on a lot this year, namely to be more aggressive offensively with baserunners on, try a few more hit and runs,” he said. “The difference between last year and this year is this team here has been working really hard. We’ve turned into a little bit more of an aggressive offense. In terms of the work ethic, they know that when we get down there we’re there to practice at first.”

So the team won’t be playing in the sand or soaking in the rays, but at least they won’t be stifled by the snow and ice of back home. Campbell said it does give a team somewhat of a mental vacation to play in an area with nicer weather.

“We’re going down when we’re used to seeing 15 or 16 degree days,” he said. “Down there, it’s like 50 or 60 degree days, so it’s going to be a warm front for us. I think the girls are excited to go down.”

The February games are a first for the Penguins under Campbell. In his first two years, the season began in March with the Rebel Games in Florida. Campbell said adding the games a month earlier should be helpful.

“It gives us that opportunity to get some games in and also takes away a couple weeks of actual practice,” he said. Sometimes practice is good. But when you’re consistently going over it, sometimes it’s better to get in and actually play those games and see what you can work on. Sometimes practice gets redundant.”

Offline IAA Fan

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Re: Softball team eager to begin season
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2011, 10:58:09 AM »
Maybe a sign of spring?

Offline YSUGO

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Re: Softball team eager to begin season
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2011, 06:37:49 PM »
Wow didnt realize that we only won 8 games last year
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Offline Wick250

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Re: Softball team eager to begin season
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2011, 07:37:17 PM »
No pitching whatsoever last season.  Sure hope that has changed.

Offline TheBearMay

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Re: Softball team eager to begin season
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2011, 10:52:23 PM »
Looks like they knocked off Kent State down at Elon.
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Re: Softball team eager to begin season
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2011, 10:27:29 AM »
yes they did 6-5 in extra innings  ;D  Not fairing well so far in the tourney against those Carolina clubs