January 28, 2020
UCCS softball starts their season on Feb. 7 at the Lubbock Christian University Softball Classic in Texas. Their first game against Fort Hays State will kick off the three-day tournament where the team will play a total of six games.
Head coach Ricki Rothbauer-Stubbs is confident that this season’s team will be successful, despite losing team leaders to graduation, thanks to strong returning players and promising freshman.
Taylor Reidhead was the No. 1 pitcher last season, as well as a successful hitter.
“That’s a big role to fill in terms of production on both sides on offense and defense,” Rothbauer-Stubbs said. “We may not have one [pitcher] who’s going to go the same number of innings, but we can combine them and get the same amount of production.”
Rothbauer-Stubbs has the team’s pitchers focusing on their defensive positions and refraining from batting. The younger pool of pitchers includes two freshman, one sophomore and a senior.
“Those two freshmen will both see time,” Rothbauer-Stubbs said of the newest pitchers. “That’s just such an impact position, so it’s easy to see them coming in right away.”
Infielder Rayle Glover and shortstop Melissa “Missy” Martinek have both graduated from prominent UCCS softball careers. Rothbauer-Stubbs expects sophomore Sawyer Brewster to be a prominent hitter this season.
“She had limited bats last year, but had really high production in low chances,” Rothbauer-Stubbs said. “As she gets more time, we expect her to step up.”
Senior Alex Cook, junior Payton Romines and sophomore Peyton Reisman are also expected to help fill the void left by some of last season’s high impact players.
“We’ve also got some really talented freshmen that have all the ability to make an impact and it’s just really about how quickly they learn the system,” Rothbauer-Stubbs said. “There’s a lot of kids to be excited about right now.”
UCCS softball will focus on improving their defense in the short game.
“We tend to struggle with that a little bit,” Rothbauer-Stubbs said. “We end up struggling against a team that’s a little bit quicker and can just put the ball on the ground and make it on base.”
The strength in this year’s team lies in the offense.
“From the offensive side we’re very balanced. We’ve got a lot of kids who can really hit it hard and we’ve got some who are really quite quick on the bases so we’re quite balanced there,” Rothbauer-Stubbs said.
Rothbauer-Stubbs said that the team has talent and ability, and all that they need is to learn to focus on the game and not the other team.
The first home game will be played against Dixie State on Mar. 7.