May 4, 2015
The end of the season was eventful for the softball team.
The team missed the RMAC tournament and head coach Scott Peterson announced his retirement after the team’s last games April 25.
“I wish him the best, he’s a great guy,” said senior captain Emily Jennings. “15 years is definitely a long time to be in any program.”
Jennings explained that UCCS administrators nearly dropped the program 15 years ago, but added that Peterson “was able to take it to a consistently winning program.”
“I think what he should be remembered for is that he graduated 100 percent of his students. He understood the importance of school and playing softball,” Jennings said. “It was just time, age was catching up to him. He has a lot of grandkids he likes to hang out with. He will be missed. Big shoes to fill.”
Jennings, who has known Peterson since she was eight, explained that he recruited her despite a serious shoulder injury in high school.
“He always believed in me. A lot of coaches didn’t think that I’d recover from my shoulder injury, but he did. That’s always stuck with me.”
Junior Dani Fonseca said she has grown under Peterson’s guidance.
“I loved playing for Coach Scott,” Fonseca said. “I’ve always known I was a really good hitter, but he brought it out of me, I’ve grown so much underneath him.”
“It’s hard to lose your one constant on this team your senior year. That’s difficult for me.”
The team needed to win two of four games to make the RMAC tournament, but lost three, according to Jennings.
“We just didn’t play to our potential. You can’t go out there and play like that at the end of the season and expect to make playoffs,” she said.
Freshman players, adjusting to college life and time management in classes as well as playing in the RMAC, poses challenges for a younger team, said Fonseca.
“Probably our biggest struggle all season was the level of inexperience that we had. We lost five seniors last year and we had 15 freshman this year, and having that young of a team is always hard,” Fonseca said.
While Jennings is graduating, she expressed hope for next year.
“I think the year was good, all the freshman will grow and next year will be even better. It was a good improvement year,” Jennings said.
“Dani is a beast, she is a scary force,” she added. “Her senior year is going to be damaging, she’s just a great hitter. Probably the hardest worker on the team by far.”
Fonseca led the team with 13 home runs, and is considered one of the most dangerous hitters in the RMAC.
“I wouldn’t say I’m the most dangerous hitter, but I’m up there,” she said. “You can just tell when you go up to bat, the coaches are like, give her some room in the outfield, and all the girls back up.”
The team doesn’t know yet who the new coach will be, according to Fonseca.
“I would hope they would inform us right away, that would be very nice, but I guess whenever they find someone, there’s no specific date.”