After coming within one out of being 2012 national champions, the No. 3-ranked Salt Lake Community College softball team comes roaring into a new season with visions of redemption as motivation as they kick off the 2013 campaign.
“We will be the national champions at the end of the season,” said SLCC softball coach Mary Kay Amicone. “We are painfully aware of how close we came to winning a championship last year and we know what it takes to win and we are hungry to achieve that this year.”
The Bruins have started off the year at a blazing pace (29-4, 23-1 SWAC) which has justified their lofty ranking and increased the expectations of building on last year’s success.
“We have an outstanding sophomore class who gained great experience last year in winning the regular season and tournament title,” said Amicone, “We are leaning on our sophomore class for experience.”
Nine sophomores are returning, and are showing their leadership on the field
They are led by sophomore outfielder Malia Campos with a .507 batting average and sophomore infielder Maddy Woodard who leads the team with 33 RBIs on the year and has 10 extra base hits to her credit.
Despite the enormous expectations of coming within a breath of being national champions and starting the season as a top team in the nation, the Bruins do not feel any additional pressure.
“Our team doesn’t see our ranking as pressure,” said Amicone. “I believe our athletes have come to SLCC because we are a top ranked team, and they want to play for the best team in the country. They see our top ranking as exciting.”
The Bruins understand the hard work and dedication that it takes to win a championship
Using last year’s heartbreaking loss as motivation, the team worked hard in the offseason to prepare for another championship run.
“We need to get consistently better in practice and in games,” said Amicone. “We need to respect the process to accomplish our goals.” The dedication and hard work of the Bruin’s has been evident in their early season success so far as they have maintained a top 3 ranking.
The Bruins will resume play at home against Western Nevada College (8-28, 5-18 SWAC) on April 5 and 6. Despite enjoying great support from family and friends, the players are most motivated by having school support and thrive off the energy of their fans.
“We love our home fans,” said Amicone. “I believe when students come to our games, they will be shocked by how fun it is to watch us play. If fans come out and experience a game, they will not want to miss another game this season.”