Last season the softball team had one of the best seasons in program history, coming in second in the Golden State Athletic Conference tournament and making the program’s first appearance since 2002 in the NAIA National Tournament.
This season, they are hungry for more.
PREPARING FOR THE UPCOMING SEASON
“We came up with a motto of unfinished business,” said second baseman Ashley Spadt. “We aren’t done and satisfied with what happened last year and we want to keep striving for more and more.”
Last season the Eagles went 36-14, just enough to qualify to compete in the opening round of the NAIA National tournament. The Eagles lost in the championship round to Reinhardt University 16-6.
The team lost three powerful seniors from last year, but four other seniors have stepped up to fill their place.
Senior pitcher Reba Depriest asserted herself on the mound with an ERA of .81 and 233 strikeouts to earn her the title of GSAC pitcher of the year. Outfielder Brook Madrid held the second highest batting average for the team at .314 overall for the season.
“Over the last four years our class has seen the lowest lows of Biola softball as well as the highest highs,” Spadt said. “Our freshman year we won only one game in conference and last year we went the farthest the program has ever gone, and so we want to consistently strive to better ourselves and push this year to go as far as we can into the national tournament.”
The Eagles have set a goal of winning 40 games this season and to accomplish that, they have been working on their offensive strategies during the offseason. The team of 14 looks to remain steady throughout the whole season and get into the top ten round of the national tournament.
“We had great defense last year but we needed more of an offensive edge, and so that is where a lot of the focus has been in offseason,” said head coach Lorie Coleman. “We have all of the components to make it to the top ten. We want to make it to the grand finale and to do that we are going all out.”
A UNIFIED TEAM
The team wants to continue to build on what they started last year. In order to do that they need to adjust and fill in the holes left behind in the roster. Coleman added three new pitchers to the roster in order to keep the pitchers fresh throughout the entire season. With four members of the team specializing in pitching, both under and upperclassmen will see a significant amount of playing time.
“Since we have a much smaller team this year, our relationships are a lot stronger off the field,” Spadt said. “The roles are also very even on who gets playing time and our coach has always done a great job of getting everyone an opportunity to play.”
The team has made the theme for this season about remaining steady throughout each game. They are taking every game one at a time until they have climbed up the ladder and into the national tournament.
Biola’s first game will be at home against La Sierra University on Feb. 6 at 12 p.m.