By Anthony Navarrete
After cold weather forced the Jets to reschedule its opener against Friends University to March 6, the Jets official first game is scheduled at 2 p.m this Saturday at home against Rockhurst.
Last season, the Jets ended their season 13-38 with a loss against Rogers State that ultimately ended their hopes of going to the conference tournament
“We just started getting into the our groove, and it just came to an end for us,” senior pitcher Chantel Purcella said.
Learning from the past, the Jets have been practicing since Jan. 14 and said they’re excited to get back on the field.
“This is all we’ve been waiting for, so we’re ready,” Purcella said.
One thing the Jets have worked to improve is their communication, something the team attributes as the problem in the past.
“Last year we had a lot of opportunities to make things happen during games, and we just didn’t have the right communication on the field, “ Purcella said.
Along with communication, Purcella said the team has been working on hitting as well as running. Which she said the team struggled with last year.
“We would have a big hit, but it was never followed up by anything to move that runner,” Purcella said.
Senior catcher Bayley Horsch said that the beginning of the season is always interesting due to finding the “sweet spot” for the team.
With seven freshmen on the roster, the Jets are considered a young team, but senior pitcher Dominique Payne said the competition shouldn’t expect any less from them.
“The incoming freshman that we have this year are really showing out and showing what they can do for us,” Payne said.
Horsch said the new players are proving to be an asset for the Jets.
“They’re position players so we can utilize them a lot and move them around on the field, which is a great weapon to have for any team,” Horsch said.
The Jets have been off to a rocky start as two of their players suffered ankle injuries before the season began. But, Purcella said she believes, “they will come back strong,” and isn’t worried the injuries will have a lasting impact on the team.
“Our first goal is to make it to the conference tournament. They only take the top five teams. That’s our number one goal,” Purcella said. “We always try to go into the postseason. We didn’t make it last year, but I think that the leadership this year is a lot stronger on our team.”
Whether it’s a conference or non-conference game, Payne said that the team needs to have the same aggressive mentality.
“We have so much potential to have a really great season,” Payne said.
PHOTO: SOFTBALL’S MATCH AGAINST FRIENDS was cancelled due to winter weather. Its home opener is 2 p.m. Saturday against Rockhurst. Courtesy photo, Newman Athletics