The St. Catharine College softball team took the gym for their first practice of 2011 Sunday in Lourdes Hall. The Lady Patriots practiced for four hours, working on pitching, defensive fundamentals and baserunning before taking batting practice to close out the day.
"We had a high energy, upbeat practice today," head coach Holly Smith said. "The hitting today looked awesome. Erika Adwell, Kasie Prather, Justine Paddock, Hagan Goldey, Courtney McHolan and Megan Beecham all looked great hitting the ball. You could tell we had some beginning jitters on defense but that is expected until the girls get used to getting balls off of the gym floor."
"This is going to be a fun group to watch," Assistant Coach Felicia Smith added. "We have a really good combination of heart and experience. This should be a very competitive group."
The Lady Patriots look to compete in the always tough Mid-South Conference regular season and tournament this year. St. Catharine returns twelve players from the 2010 squad that received the No. 4 overall ranking in the MSC, including All-Conference player, Goldey and honorable mention player, Prather.
The team welcomes five newcomers in Ashley Cardenas, Taylor Steff, Taylor Davidson, Jaimie Mullins and Morgan Whobrey. The newcomers will all be competing for spots on the field and look to be great assets to the SCC program. Returners Dani Clark, Ashley Hardin, Chelcie Rein, and Laura Mattingly will also be expected to help on the field this season.
The Lady Patriots will open up the 2011 season with a home game at Salt River Electric Field. The first pitch will be Feb. 25 at 2 p.m. when SCC faces non-conference Asbury College.