For the Lady Bearkat softball team, the 2009 season signals the start of a new season, filled with great expectations and new beginnings.
The roster for this season contains five seniors, including pitcher Brandi Crnkovic, who pitched a 2.82 ERA, and had 18 complete games last year.
There are also many seasoned veterans on this team, including junior Morgan Mikulin, who pitched a 1.94 ERA, as well as accumulating a .311 batting average, placing her behind sophomore batting leader Hailey Wiginton. Wiginton obtained a .388 batting average, getting 62 hits in 160 at-bats.
Further demonstrating the force the Bearkats have this season is the addition of the freshman class, especially pitcher Tomi Garrison and catcher Calli Wood.
Both ladies were awarded first team selections for the 2008 Louisville Slugger/ National Fastpitch Coaches’ Association All-America team.
Garrison pitched for Garland and helped lead her high school team to consecutive state championships. While there, she racked up a 24-1 record, along with a 0.20 ERA.
Woods, from Bryan, batted a .446 average, helping lead her team to the playoffs.
The Bearkatss hope to make up for the difficulties they had last season. They went 30-31 on the season, hitting their worst skid between March 6 and March 15, when they went on an eight game losing streak.
The team also hopes to make up for their quick exit from the 2008 Southland Conference tournament, when they were eliminated in a 1-2 loss to Nicholls State.
The team also has extra manpower with the addition of assistant coach Selena Collins, an All-American catcher for Texas A&M University. Not only was she the captain of the team, she was also a four-year starter.
After graduation, Collins then went on to play for the Houston Thunder and the Chicago Bandits in the National Pro Fastpitch League.
The 2009 schedule for the Bearkats is loaded with great competition. Not only will they be playing Texas A&M, they will also take on powerhouse LSU, Ohio state, and Baylor.
The team begins their season February 7 when they host and play in theDomino’s Pizza/SHSU Classic. Play starts at 11 a.m. at SHSU.