By: James Stanley
Mizzou Softball enters the 2016 pre-season ranked 15th in the country. Missouri is among eight SEC schools ranked in the top 25. Last year, the Tigers season ended on a loss in the Super Regionals and a final ranking of 12th in the country.
Head coach Ehren Earleywine is confident in his team’s ability to produce at the plate and blow teams out. Earleywine’s only concern is how well the Tigers will do in close games.
“We’re going to win a lot of games 10-6, and 14-8,” Earleywine said. “I get that, and we are capable of that. But in order to win championships you have to be able to win one to nothing, and this team needs to be able to prove that they can do that. I know we’re going to outscore a lot of teams, but I am more interested in the big hit against the big pitcher at the big time.”
Earleywine went on to mention that there is new leadership in this Tigers team from redshirt senior Sami Fagan.
“Sami Fagan comes along, the hardest working player I have ever coached,” Earleywine said. “She just makes people feel uncomfortable when they’re not doing stuff, and it is that quiet leadership that makes you feel uncomfortable enough to get up and take some early BP or ground balls. We’ve had double the amount of kids come in early, and we’ve never seen that before.”
With this new motivation, this young Mizzou softball team has drive to get back to the College World Series in 2016, and build upon a season that came up short last year of an appearance in the CWS.
Mizzou Softball kicks off its season against Jacksonville State on Friday, February 19 in Kissimmee, Florida.