With preseason softball wrapping up later this month, the Lady Warriors still have time to rebab a number of injured players they have missing from their 18-man roster.
“Honestly, it was super scary,” freshman Afton Larsen said, “because even in preseason [last fall], we all got hurt at some point. We all made it back and were healthy for a period of time and then, all of a sudden, the freshman cycle restarted again. I just hope that with all the ankle injuries that we’ve had, they heal fast and return so we can have more players.”
These injuries definitely took their toll on the team, happening in both preseason games and during practices.
“Right now, we just think it’s second base,” Larsen said. “We think second base has a curse on it because that’s where everyone went down, but it’s just very unlucky I guess.”
Making adjustments as injuries happened, the Lady Warriors began their preseason in Texarkana. There, they suffered four loses over the weekend against teams like Louisiana State University-Alexandria, Texas A&M University-Texarkana, and Lyon College. Their next two games against MidAmerica Nazarene University would also end in favor of Evangels.
“It’s gone okay,” senior Teanne Edens said. “Not as good as we expected it to be, but I feel like we’re now going up instead of staying constant where we were. It’s mainly been our hitting. We’re playing solid defense, but we just needed to back it up with the runs. We weren’t, and now we’re starting to make that change.”
“We’ve put in a lot of work,” she said. “I know at the beginning of the year, with all the coaching changes, we were a little stressed, but I think coach [Jessica] Bati and [assistant coach Byanka] Diosdado have really stepped up to the plate and have helped us get to where we are.”
The Lady Warriors will host a few more preseason games before their first conference game on March 14 against Ottawa University in Ottawa.
“I’m looking forward to proving everybody wrong,” Edens said. “Since we are ranked so low this year, and we shocked a lot of people last year, I feel like we could do that again this year.”
Larsen agreed with Edens and is also looking forward to her first season as a Lady Warrior.
“I’m just looking to go out and show out,” Larsen said. “Especially being a freshman, not everybody knows who we are, so we have a clean slate to go out and show all that we have. We can go out and beat these teams. Yeah, we’re at the bottom of the conference, but we have the potential and skill to go out and do really good this season.”
Sterling College softball will play at home March 3 against Central Christian College in a doubleheader starting at 2 p.m.