A neon yellow ball pings off the bat. The smell of wet grass mixes with the sweet leather scent of the glove. Bright white Bruin uniforms trimmed in blue and gold.
Softball season is upon us, and Norma Carr Field stands ready to host its first game of the 2020 Salt Lake Community College softball season.
The 2019 season ended in disappointment for the Bruins, who led the Scenic West Athletic Conference in runs, hits, doubles, triples, and runs batted in. After dominating the conference and winning the Region 18 title, the Bruins suffered consecutive losses in the NJCAA national tournament.
“Our softball team just reloads,” says SLCC assistant athletic director Paul Marble. “We have a championship culture and amazing coaches.”
With nine sophomores, including seven returning players, the Bruins hope to build on last season’s success. Head coach Cyndee Bennett sets a high bar for her team, and expects her returning players to establish the culture.
“I’m looking for our returning players to lead the way, and the rest of the team needs to follow them,” says Bennett. “I want them to put the team on their back and move forward.”
Bennett is pleased with the early season development of some freshmen on both sides of the ball.
“First baseman Kamora Masina has really stepped up, she’s been hitting the ball well,” says Bennett.
Bennett also has praise for the defensive acumen of Alexis Galloway: “She’s come in and done a great job in the outfield, catching everything that comes her way.”
With a 6-4 record, the No. 10-ranked Bruins believe preseason tournaments in Arizona and Alabama have prepared the team for the rigors of SWAC play.
On the offensive side of the ball, sophomores Rylee Harris, Mia Cullimore and Brylee Marziale have gotten off to a hot start with three home runs apiece.
In the pitching circle, Marziale leads the team with three complete games. She is joined by sophomore Brittany Terrey and freshman Nya Laing with complete games of their own in the preseason.
Bennett references a big win, saying, “Nya Laing came in and pitched, helping us beat the No. 2 team in the nation, Florida Southwestern, with her and a tough strike zone.”
The Bruins begin their regular season in Rangely, Colo. against the CNCC Spartans on Feb. 28. The first home game is slated for the next weekend, with doubleheaders against the College of Southern Idaho on March 6 and 7.
The Bruins play their home games at Norma Carr Field on the Taylorsville Redwood Campus. All Bruin home games are broadcast online at team1sports.com/salt.