The Racer softball team tied the best fall season in program history, posting a 6-2 record despite major changes in leadership.
Kara Amundson was introduced as the head coach a short time after Allen Ward, director of athletics, released then Head Coach Jay Pyron. The Racers went 80-78 over three seasons, with just one winning season in that span.
“It’s been a really good and positive transition,” Amundson said. “The underclassmen, especially the freshman class, have made some huge strides and I do give our upperclassmen credit for that. They’ve done a great job of leading this fall, just being hard-nosed.”
Their pitching staff posted a 2.66 ERA and only allowed 11 extra base hits through the fall, while the offense provided the Racers with 9.33 runs per game and a .344 team batting average.
“I think we’re going to have one of the toughest pitching staffs to beat in the conference this year,” Amundson said. “And offensively we just have some really good hitters throughout my whole lineup.”
The pitching staff was anchored by freshman J.J. Francis, She led the staff with three wins, a 2.00 ERA and held opponents to a dismal .180 batting average in five appearances.
While on the offensive side, sophomores Alexa Becker, Mo Ramsey and Casey Castile led in all major categories.
Amundson said her squad developed tremendously since the end of last season and accepted their individual roles on the team, providing the new coaching staff with an unusual problem.
“It’s going to be hard for us to pick who is going to be in the lineup each week with the depth of our lineup,” Amundson said with a smile. “If that’s our biggest problem it’s a good problem to have.”
The Racers will also see changes in venue and schedule strength with their first game on-campus during the 2013 campaign, as Racer Field will be constructed on the former practice football field.
They will faceoff against three SEC opponents in Arkansas, Mississippi State and 2012 Women’s College World Series competitor Tennessee.
The Racers begin their spring schedule with the first of four away tournaments Feb. 15-17 when they travel to Mississippi State for the Bulldog Classic.
The first ever on-campus home game is a double-header March 16 against SEMO.
Story by: Nick Dolan, Staff writer