Freshmen Infielder Ashley Smith
Under the direction of Head Coach Amanda Bourgoin, the 2012 Husson University softball team season is underway. The girls are just returning from their eight game pre-season tour of Florida and are now ready for another successful year. The three-time defending conference champion Eagles are a unanimous choice to win the conference title according to the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) softball coaches’ poll.
When asked about the challenge of repeating as conference champions, Coach Bourgoin shared, “I feel like every year that we play, everyone is out to get us. It’s like we have a target on our back. Last year we won 38 straight conference games before losing one. Although it was disappointing and heartbreaking, it was a relief because all the pressure just kind of went away.”
With seven starters returning to the Eagles lineup, Bourgoin is very confident in her teams potential. Bourgoin’s teams determine success based on whether they win the NAC championship and advance into the NCAA tournament. Believe it or not, this is a very young team featuring just two seniors, four juniors, two sophomores and eleven freshmen.
“We really need our upperclassmen to step up and they need to be able to get the freshmen to respond to them and look up to them and carry them through,” said Bourgoin. “Right now we have four, five or six freshmen who will contribute significantly.”
Junior Aimee Mortensen, the 2011 NAC Player of the Year, will lead this years team along with a trio of former all-conference players. Mortensen hit .331 from the plate, 39 hits, 21 RBI, and a .396 on base percentage. Sargent did not play last year due to an injury, but was a NAC first team all-conference selection in 2010. Lyon started 22 games from the mound going 11-11 with an 3.89 ERA. Hill led the team with 42 stolen bases, 49 runs, 54 hits and a .348 batting average.
Junior Pitcher Kody Lyon
“We are trying to motivate the freshmen and get them to work hard," said Mortensen. They have been doing a really good job and they’re really solid at their positions.”
During their preseason Florida spring trip, the team played eight games in six days-including four doubleheaders-against top notch competition. The team exceeded expectations by winning three games. This was a great opportunity for the freshman who played their first college games against some of the best players in the country.
“Seeing some good competition down there gets us motivated to come back here and do what we do best. We have always been great defensively, but we struggle to drive in runs. This year our hitting should be stronger throughout the entire lineup,” said Mortensen.
After long, hard off-season workouts and a good pre-season trip to Florida, Coach Bourgoin and the Husson softball team feel confident about another successful softball season. In just a week on March 18, the Eagles will open the regular season against the University of Maine at Presque Isle. A balance of experience and new young talent may be the perfect mix to keep our Lady Eagles on top of the NAC for years to come.
Husson Lady Eagles at Fortune Athletic Complex in Kissimmee, Florida
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