The Lady Cougar Softball team will open up their season on Saturday, February 9th at the Border Battle tournament in Cartersville, GA, with games at 9:00 AM, 11:00 AM, and 3:00 PM.
Cleveland State hopes to build off of a stellar campaign from last season, in which they had their best finish in 20 years. The team went 26-22, was the runner-up in the NJCCA region 7 tournament, runner-up in the TCCAA tournament and was just a couple wins shy of earning a bid to the NJCAA national championship.
The Lady Cougars have the personnel to contend again this year. They have many different returners at all positions. Sadie Coons, Emily Yell, and Tori Ogle are all sophomores returning to the infield which will solidify Cleveland State's defense. Summer Dean and Haley Galivane also return for their second seasons and will provide stellar play in the outfield. The pitching staff for the Lady Cougars features Kaitlyn Pickens and Becca Copins which will provide experience to a strong pitching rotation.
Cleveland State also has many new faces that will contribute immediately to the roster. Sophomore IF Auburn Colake, who transferred in from the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, will get the nod at first base. C/IF Kallie Hawkins and UTL Aubrie Bowman are two other transfers that will provide immediate help to the lineup. Freshman Hannah Turner will provide good leadership, glove work, and hitting from third base.
"I am very excited about this year's team and the schedule we have lined up," head coach Katie Willingham said. "We had a successful end to last year's season, so we know the target's on our backs, but I feel that this team can handle with it with experience returning and accept the challenge."
The Lady Cougars will play their home opener on Saturday, February 23rd with a double header starting at 1:00 ET against West Georgia Technical College.