Feb 132002

The CSU softball team has taken on a newer, younger look, leaving the future looking that much brighter.

Though the team has struggled to a 1-4 start – losing four of five at the Mustang Round-up Tournament last weekend – players and coaches both feel they are heading in the right direction.

“If we were peaking right now, then we would have something to worry about,” junior right fielder Katie Koch said. “Since this is just the beginning of the season, we know we can only get better.”

Centerfielder Kai Stone, one of only two seniors on the team, mirrored that enthusiasm.

“Last weekend in California, the learning curve really went up,” Stone said. “It was a learning experience for the freshman, but now they know what it is like and are confident in their abilities.”

With only three returning starters from last season, the team definitely will face its share of challenges this season, according to head coach Mary Yori.

However, Yori added that the team is capable of facing those challenges.

“It’s a big challenge, but manageable,” she said. “We just have to play every inning of every game with constant intensity.”

Yori said that although 1-4 is not an impressive record, it is not a concern to the team right now.

“With a team as young as ours, it is hard to put too much emphasis on record,” she said. “Our goal is for each individual to play with constant enthusiasm and energy; the win-lose column will take care of itself.”

This weekend the team travels to Mississippi State to play in the Mississippi State Tournament, where it plays seven games over the span of four days.

“Last Sunday we played with a lot of confidence,” Stone said. “I’m looking forward to playing five games with that same intensity.”

The coaches claim that they cannot look to far ahead, though.

“We just have to take it one game, one inning at a time,” Yori said. n

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