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Softball breaks records in Florida, prepares for possible weather issues

BY MICHAEL SMITH
smithmi@mnstate.edu

The MSUM softball team had a record-breaking performance at the Cocoa Beach Classic Tournament in Cocoa Beach, Fla., last week.

In their final doubleheader of the event, the Dragons set the school record for hits and runs in a single game.

In the second game of the doubleheader, the Dragons scored 26 runs on 26 hits, both school records.

The Dragons defeated Fisher College 14-0 in game one and 26-1 in the second game.

“We just came out and played extremely well,” interim head coach Kelsey Fehl said. “We all came together at the same time and put a full game together. We have been playing well this spring and it was just a culmination of everything coming together.”

Alexa D’Onofrio pitched five innings allowing one run and tallied five hits along with Mara Litzer.

“It was our last game of the tournament, so we were really hoping that it was going to be a big game for us,” senior pitcher Litzer said. “It was nice because we had some trouble early in the week with our defense and getting everything to work well together.”

The Dragons are looking to continue their hot streak as the conference season approach.

“It was a big confidence builder, it gives us some confidence going into our conference season,” Fehl said. “I think that is one of the biggest things we need right now.”

Last season was difficult for the Dragons as they finished with a 7-39 record over all.

“Last year we had seven wins and now coming back from Florida we already have more wins than we did last year,” Litzer said. “That is a huge step up and really brings up our team moral. You can just tell that the attitude with the team has changed so much. Having that upbeat attitude just makes that much of a difference.”

A big challenge for the softball team, not only this season but in seasons past, is the weather. In 2009, the team didn’t have a single home game due to flooding and this season will present its own difficulties with the weather.

“I think that the 2009 season was a learning experience,” Fehl said. “We learned how to play on the road. Looking forward to this year, we are going to plan on playing on the road, every game.”

The team had to practice indoors on Tuesday afternoon.

“(Practicing indoors) makes it really difficult,” Fehl said. “Our outfielders can’t see fly balls, it is different taking ground balls off of a gym floor than off of dirt.”

The Dragons open their conference schedule on the road at Upper Iowa University on April 2.

“I’m hoping that we stay up as a team,” Litzer said. “We are hoping to carry over (our success) to those games.”

To read more from this writer, view his blog at smithmi.blogspot.com

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