Feb. 15, 2006
A win is always nice, but the first win is always the best.
Lady Bisons softball coach Kristin Peck earned her first win as head coach Tuesday afternoon against Austin Peay. The Lady Bisons, 1-3, lost the first game 1-0 and then came back for the 11-4 victory against Austin Peay State University in Clarksville in the nightcap.
"There's nothing like finally getting your first win," said Peck. "Getting the first win under your belt is always fun. It is one thing you don't have to think about anymore."After getting only two hits in game one, the Lady Bisons responded with 18. Leigh Little led the way with four. Also putting together multi-hit performances were Niki Bails, Jessica Wilson, Sara Meek, Julia Davidson, and Kate Richardson. Little, Wilson and Ashley Villapando each recorded a double.
"It was one of those games where our players really responded after game one. We had a tough time in game one getting anything going. We didn't adjust well in game one. We were frustrated with them after game one. I know they were frustrated. We really challenged them between games, and they really stepped it up. We were very impressed with that."
Peck and Cheryl Smith, assistant women's basketball coach, took over the Lady Bisons about midway through last season and directed the team to a berth in the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament in Boca Raton, Fla.
Preseason is usually a time for players to challenge themselves and adjust and upgrade their games before conference play begins.
The Lady Bisons lost only two players to graduation last season. Still, Peck already sees this team as being different from last season's.
"They are so funny," said Peck. "They keep you on your toes all the time. They find the way to make the mood lighter when we want to be mad. They expect a lot out of themselves. But we really have had to challenge them in terms of expectations.
"They are completely different group than they were last year in how close they are and how they have become accountable to each other. I think they understand what it is like to go out and do everything they can to help each other out."
The team has grown since last season. Peck, likewise, has also matured.
"I learned so much about how to deal with them as players," said Peck. "I know how I was as a player and how I responded to things. I know what motivated me and what didn't.
"I know the type of player I was, And players are all different. Trying to find ways to motivate each one of them, and at the same time keeping them motivated as a team, is tougher this year than last year. I think last year they were going on adrenalin the second half of the year and that made it easier for me."
Last season was a valuable apprenticeship in many ways. Peck learned a great deal about game management as well as dealing with things like travel, team budgets and recruiting.
"There are things I had never had to deal with before, and I had to learn very quickly," said Peck. "I got my bearings a little bit last year.
"I'm well into recruiting. That is going along great."