UCCS softball pre-season preparations look to a victory this spring

2 October 2018

Brian Blevins

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    The UCCS softball team’s pre-season preparations are off to an early start for the spring season.

    Head Coach Ericka Rothbauer-Stubbs led the UCCS Softball team last weekend as they hosted scrimmages against Otero Junior College and Colby Community College in the two opening matchups of the season.

    The Mountain Lions get ready to take on Trinidad State Junior College and Lamar Community College on Oct. 13 and 14, respectively, in two more scrimmages in preparation for the official spring season.

    While the season does not start until February, signs of future success are already showing.

    “The team has been impressive thus far,” Rothbauer-Stubbs said via email. “We’ve been in team practices for nearly 3 weeks now and we’ve had a handful of intrasquad scrimmages. On the whole, I’d say we’re ahead of where we were last fall on all fronts — offensively, defensively, and pitching wise.”

    Part of this is credited to the returning upperclassmen, who proved their worth last year when they qualified for the RMAC tournament.

    “We have a couple of upperclassmen who’ve made themselves [known throughout] the conference and region,” said Rothbauer-Stubbs. “On the whole, our upperclassmen are capable of leading us deep into the tournament and that’s where we’ve set our goals.”

    Two such returners include short stop Melissa “Missy” Martinek, and pitcher Taylor Reidhead.

    Marinek boasted 42 runs out of 51 hits last year, putting up a .357 batting average and she started in all 48 games in which she played.

    On the mound last season, Reidhead posted 11 wins and seven loses, appearing in a total of 30 games and posting a 3.75 ERA (earned runs average).

    These two athletes help fill the void left by Whitey Weber and Lexi Belligan, two All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) honorees who both graduated in May.

    “They were a huge part of our offense and had fantastic years on defense too,” said Rothbauer-Stubbs. “We have some returners who can step into those rolls, and we also have a talented group of freshmen and transfers who could work their way into the lineup as well.”

    “I’m most impressed,” said Rothbauer-Stubbs, “with how well the returners are integrating the newcomers in the way we play, especially in our defensive approach to the game.”

    This year, the Mountain Lions are hoping to capitalize on another RMAC tournament appearance. Their season kicks off on Feb. 2 with a two-day, four-game tournament in Denver, against conference rival MSU Denver and the University of Sioux Falls.