Feb. 27, 2007
Communication has been one of the keys for early success for the Lady Bisons softball team.
Wednesday at 1 p.m. they are back home at Draper Diamond to face Eastern Kentucky from the Ohio Valley Conference. The Lady Bisons are 8-4. Eastern Kentucky is 4-5.
With six freshmen and one transfer starting Lady Bisons coach Kristin Peck wants to make sure everyone is on the same page.
"We like to have that communication," Peck said. "We know they are young. And we need to talk with the older ones. We know that this program is starting to go somewhere new and they are a huge part of that as much as the young ones are. We have to make sure everyone understands what we expect."
Because of their inexperience on the collegiate level, Peck expects the team to make mistakes. But the way those mistakes are addressed after the fact is one of the most important parts of the coaching message.
"We want them to learn from their mistakes and not beat themselves up," Peck said. "We don't want them to lose their confidence early. But at the same time we want them to know that we have high expectations for them and they should have high expectations for themselves.
"There is a lot of talking about maybe a player trying something in a certain situation that didn't work. Maybe they didn't make a bad decision, but maybe they tried to make an opportunity when there was not an opportunity to take."
The Lady Bisons have proven to be capable of beating good teams with a combination of solid pitching and hitting.
Lead-off hitter Lauren Dortwegt, a freshman center fielder, leads the Atlantic Sun in hitting with a .512 average. She is second in hits with 21.
Freshman infielder Kellie Sirus leads the conference in both home runs (5) and total bases (35).
Freshman pitcher Christen Campbell is fourth in the conference in pitching with a 1.51 earned run average. She leads the conference in innings pitched with 41.2.
The early success of the team, combined with the early production from so many freshman players, is evidence for Peck and her staff that the players are hearing the message and responding.
"We want them to understand why we are doing what we are doing and not to do it just because we say to do it," Peck said. "I think we are going get more production out of them that way. I think we are going to develop more trust with them.
"We are learning more about the players and they are learning more about us as coaches with each game. We are going to continue to grow as a program. This group of players has been awesome so far."