Bassett sets sights on new recruits

With four forfeits, Johnny Bassett?s first season coaching the Tabor College softball season ended abruptly and on a slightly sour note two weeks ago.

But an optimistic offseason is cropping up. Having met a measure of frustration with the business-as-usual approach that relied heavily on multi-sport athletes and walk-ons to keep a team on the field, Bassett is aiming to build a roster replete with softball specialists.

Lacking pitching depth, the Bluejays? season was severely compromised by injuries to starters Kalie George and Samatha Heldenbrand. Other injuries followed, and the season came apart at the seams when the usual rites of spring?vacations and weddings?reduced the Jays roster to eight.

The forfeits meant Bassett?s offseason began a week early, and he has made strides toward his goal of adding 12-15 new players to the program.

Bassett has inked five to date, including Jessica and Jenesa Klose of Hillsboro?a tandem that will give Tabor depth in two key areas of greatest need.

Bassett touts the skills of all his signees highly, but is very excited about Kezia Cabrera?an elite out-of-state player that represents a necessary shift in the program?s approach.

?The team has been so bad for so long, it has kind of poisoned the water for us in Kansas,? he said. ?It forces us to look outside of Kansas to find the talent we need to have a strong team.?

?Maybe that sounds bad, but a lot of players are looking to come in and play as freshmen, and the more established programs can?t offer that opportunity,? he noted.

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