NACOGDOCHES, Texas – Softball season starts this weekend as the Ladyjacks head to the CenturyLink Classic hosted by Texas State. Weather has altered the original schedule for this weekend’s tournament, and the Ladyjacks will now play two games on Saturday and Sunday rather than opening the season on Friday.
The Ladyjacks will take on Texas State at 10 a.m. Saturday to start their 2014 campaign and face Southern Illinois later that day at 4:45. Sunday’s action will be against Ball State at 11 a.m. and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at 3 p.m.
Head Coach Gay McNutt said she and her staff is excited to get the season underway and see where this year’s group of freshman will make an impact.
“We are very excited, and the team is excited,” McNutt said. “We have a lot of young kids in the lineup and we’re excited to see how they play under this kind of pressure for the first time.”
This year’s squad returns seven position starters plus starting pitcher Carlie Thomas from a year ago to go with the freshmen already showing promise in practices. Senior shortstop Elizabeth Arana was selected to the Preseason All-Southland Conference First Team after earning first team postseason honors last year.
Arana led the Southland Conference in batting average and was second in on-base percentage in league play last year and was among the top defenders in the league as well. The 4.0 GPA student is just one of the veterans that gives McNutt a positive outlook for this year’s team.
“We have a good mix this year of veterans and freshmen,” McNutt said. “With Elizabeth and Carlie returning, if we can get more of the players around them to perform at a high level we have the potential to be a good team.”
Fans can keep up with the action at the CenturyLink Classic online with a tournament central page at txstatebobcats.com. Links to live stats and video will be available as well as ticket information.