Jan. 7, 2015
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina’s softball team returned to campus today to start preparations for the 2015 season, looking to make a third-consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament this year.
“Fun, fun fun!” exclaimed Gamecock head coach Beverly Smith. “Today was great. All the girls are back, roaring to go. We covered all aspects of the game today, knocking the rust off, but I tell you what, it was good to see the girls and watch them do their thing. It’s going to be a fun season. I was particularly pleased with the way we hit the ball today. I could tell the girls took the words of their coaches to heart and put some work in while gone.”
The team started with fitness work in the morning as well as other drills inside the USC Field House before meeting during lunch to take care of some administrative items. In the afternoon, the squad worked on the field and in the indoor batting cages, with Smith and the coaching staff particularly pleased with the way the team hit the ball during the offensive portions of the hour-long practice.
“It looked great,” remarked South Carolina senior centerfielder Kristen Struett. “We really hit the ground running compared to previous years. You could tell everybody put a lot of work in over (Christmas) break to keep up what we had going in the fall, and it showed. We were ready to go today, rain or shine, cold or hot.”
In a little difference than years past, the team kicked off practice before classes start on Monday on the Columbia campus. Count Struett as one who likes this change. “That was another key part. We come in and focus on softball for a few days. That’s going to be really nice.”
The Gamecocks bring back their primary two pitchers and seven starters from last year’s team that finished 36-22. First pitch for the 2015 season is 30 days away, with everything beginning in Greenville, N.C., against Longwood at 12:30 p.m. as part of East Carolina’s Pirate Classic.
South Carolina hosts 31 games at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field, with season tickets still available at GamecocksOnline.com/tickets. Packages for the season include tickets to every contest, including each game of the Gamecock Invitational and Carolina Classic, for just $25 for adults and $10 for youth 17 and under.