Editor’s Note: The softball season opened February 1, though the team does not have a game until spring break when they travel to Phoenix, Arizona.1. How long have you been leading the softball program at Lawrence?
I began coaching at Lawrence in 1993 and this will be my fifteenth season as the head softball coach.
2. What are your other roles in the Athletic Department?
In addition to coaching softball, I serve as the Associate Director of Athletics and the SWA (Senior Woman Administrator).
3. How did the team do last year?
Last season, we finished with an overall record of 15-12 and 6-7 in Midwest Conference play (third in the North Division).
4. What are your expectations for the upcoming softball season?
We were disappointed with our finish in conference play last season and are looking to improve in that area in order to qualify for the Midwest Conference tournament. Our early season schedule will be challenging, but we feel it’s the best way to prepare for conference play. We don’t have a ton of depth this year, so it will be important for our team to remain healthy!
5. Who are some players to watch out for this year?
We return four players that were recognized as All-Conference Players at some level last year. Senior pitcher and co-captain Catherine Marinac was a first team selection in 2007. She has a 13-10 record with a 2.63 era while striking out 90 batters in 138 innings pitched. Her experience and leadership will be invaluable for the team this year. Our other senior co-captain and shortstop Carrie Van Groll was a second team selection in 2007. She will be relied upon to provide stability in the infield. Carrie hit .349 as a junior with four homeruns and 22 RBIs. Junior Jenna Reichel (third base) and sophomore Alex Goodson (designated hitter) were both named first team all-conference in 2007. Jenna hit a team leading .426 and stole 15 bases in 16 attempts. Alex Goodson hit .420 in her first season with a school record seven home runs in 27 games played. She also led the team 43 rbis and is one of the toughest outs in the conference.
The outfield returns much experience in junior Amanda Hauser and seniors Megan Butterbrodt and Justine Garbarski. All three have the potential to have a huge impact on our success. The infield has two additional players not previously mentioned — Meredith Foshag and Hillary Cheever. Meredith started at second as a freshman last year and also served as our number two pitcher. Her versatility is valuable to the team. Hillary Cheever served as a back-up catcher last year and could challenge for the starting position this season.
6. How many new players are out for the team?
We have several newcomers that we hope will have an immediate impact. Carli Gurholt has power potential offensively and should challenge for a starting position. She plays infield. Sophomore Tiffany Lahtinen is very versatile and could also challenge for a position in both the infield and outfield.
7. What do you see for the future of this program and LU athletics in general?
The future of the athletic program is outstanding! We are under the direction of a terrific leader in head athletic director, Bob Beeman, who is supportive of all that we do. As to the future of the program — we would certainly like to win a Midwest Conference championship. We’ve been to the tournament eight of the past 11 years, but have not won it since 1999. It’s nice to be in it each year (top four out of 10 get in to the tournament) but it’s time to win it again!