If you are a fan of Bearkat softball, there is certainly reason to be optimistic about this year’s squad. It does not hurt when the team jumped out to a 4-0 start thus far, proving the notion that this is probably the strongest roster Sam Houston has seen in many years, if not the strongest in school history.
Coach Bob Brock, last year’s Southland Conference Coach of the Year, has instilled a winning attitude on his team.
It will be hard to improve on last years finish, seeing as they were finalists in the post-season tournament. But there is reason to be confident that they can bring home a championship this year.
Sam Houston was named co-favorites to win the conference, as voted by the SLC coaches. What is the reason for such high expectations? One reason is that the Bearkats will return seven out of nine starters from last year’s talented squad.
Possibly even more exciting is that two of those starters are senior Lauren Boone and sophomore Shalayne Blythe, the leagues best hitter and pitcher, respectively.
Boone is one of the most decorated players in Sam Houston history. She currently ranks as the school’s all-time leading hitter with a .383 career batting average. Last season she was even more consistent than that, batting .414. She will no doubt give opposing coaches some sleepless nights trying to figure out how to keep her off the bases and off of the scoreboard.
On the other side of the ball, Shalayne Blythe dominated last season as a freshman. Her .83 ERA in Southland Conference action earned her the leagues “Pitcher of the Year” award, as well as “Freshman of the Year” honors.
In addition to those two, two other Kats were named to this year’s all-SLC pre-season team. Junior outfielder Stephanie Mosley and sophomore shortstop Tanya Hooser were named second-team all-SLC selections. Hooser finished fourth on the team in hitting last season with a .306 average, including .329 in SLC action. Mosley finished ninth in the league in hitting with a .340 average, as well as sixth in the league in doubles with 13.
It looks to be another fine season for SHSU softball. With a continued commitment to hard work and excellence, the stage is set for a run at the SLC crown.