Softball is ready to start up the season in hopes of making it back to the SCAC championship for the sixth year and finally bringing home the title.
The team has come in second place for the past five years, and is more motivated than ever to bring home the trophy.
Last season the Tigers finished with an 18-18 record, getting knocked out by the Texas Lutheran Bulldogs in the SCAC championship game.
Trinity softball had four players make the SCAC All-Tournament team including Caitlyn Dykes, Lauren Mercado, Hilary Hoffman and Katie Castillon.
This was Dykes fourth selection to the team as well as Mercado’s third as they ended their final season on a positive note.
Head coach Brandi Crnkovic will begin her sixth season with the Tigers and her fourth season as head coach.
“Our team this year has been so much fun,” Crnkovic said. “Our chemistry is different than it has been in years past. With 12 returners and 11 freshmen I wasn’t sure what to expect, but they look like they have been playing together for years and it is really exciting.”
Out of the returners, eight of them were named to All-SCAC teams last season.
Junior outfielder Mackenzie Hill named to the 2015 All-SCAC First Team, finishing the season second on the team with a batting average of .342 contributing 14 RBI’s and 19 runs scored.
Senior pitcher Kaci Wellik named to All-SCAC Second Team, leading the team with 9 wins total, as well as contributing 81 strikeouts for the 2015 season.
Entering her last season, Wellik speaks on her excitement to start playing again.
“This season is bittersweet for me. It’s the last time I will ever play softball at a highly competitive level, so I’m taking it super seriously, but I’m also making sure to savor every moment of it,” Wellik said.
Utility player Castillon, another standout player, finished her 2015 season second on the team for wins with five, as well as leading the team in closing ten games.
Having half of the team as freshman can be a very difficult situation, but based on the coach’s input, the girls have already conquered that obstacle.
“We have plenty of freshman with great talent.” Castillon said. “They have already impacted the team’s chemistry in a positive way and I have no doubt they will do the same on the field.”
As the start of the season gets closer and closer the goals set become more realistic and attainable.
The girls are filled with motivation and drive to start off the season strong and show the conference they plan to compete this season.
Crnkovic said,”Our goal for this season is to win the SCAC Championship. We have come in second place for the past five seasons and it has been frustrating to have it right within reach each time. We focus on improving every day in some aspect of the game, we want to continue to progress and be at the top of our game come April.”
Crnkovic has confidence in every girl on the team to give their best all the time and push each other throughout the season.
Wellik and Castillon will lead the team this season as the captains, and have great expectations for the team.
“This level of competition this year will be really good for the team,” Wellik said. “If we work towards the success of the team, instead of the success of ourselves as individuals, we’re going to be unstoppable.”
The Trinity Tigers open up their season in California with three double headers against Chapman, Redlands and Occidental on Feb. 18.
Their first home opener will follow the next Wednesday, Feb. 24 against Concordia at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.
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