Under the direction of Suzanne Unruh, who is entering her third season as coach, the Tabor College softball team will seek to improve on last year?s 19-26 record.
To do that, Tabor will rely on three returning all-conference selections.
First on the list is sophomore Brittney Dymnioski, the Blue?jays? third-base starter. Dymni?oski currently leads the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference in batting average at .519.
?(Brittney is) solid at third and a very smart ball player,? Unruh said.
Also anchoring this year?s squad is senior Cortnie Killen?another all-conference selection last year?who starts at first base and is hitting .500.
Unruh described Killen as a ?strong power lefty.?
?(Cortnie) provides strong leadership on the field as well,? she said.
Unruh also expects big things from starting center fielder and all-conference selection, junior Sarah Massey.
?(Sarah) should be one of the best outfielders in the conference this year,? Unruh said. ?(She is) hitting in the four-hole spot in our lineup and is very powerful at the plate.?
A key newcomer this year is freshman Brooke Tomten, who is hitting .519.
?(Brooke) is a great athlete and can play well at both third base and outfield,? Unruh said.
Tabor has started the season with a 5-13 record. A key challenge has been lack of consistent play due to weather interruptions.
?We?ve gotten off on a rough start,? Unruh said. ?The winter storm-like weather we started our season with challenged us. We had to scramble to find a dry field to keep the team playing games.
?We went to Oklahoma and played very tough competition,? she added. ?I felt like overall we played well and got better each game but couldn?t come up with the wins.?
Unruh said she couldn?t fault the Bluejays? effort.
?Each time out, we made improvements and showed a lot of heart, never giving up,? she said.
Unruh also likes the leadership on her team.
?This team has tremendous leadership on the field,? she said. ?I think with everything we have been through so far in the season, we will be OK.
?Getting outside consistently is huge, as well as playing continuous games without weather interrupting us. That?s just the fun of our sport.?
Looking ahead to conference play, Unruh is confident Tabor can finish in the upper half of the conference.
?I feel if we continue to improve, keep hitting the ball hard and making the plays on defense, I would feel confident in finishing in the top five of the KCAC this spring.?
The Bluejays were scheduled to get their first conference test Tuesday at Bethany College. Their next scheduled games will be at home Saturday against Kansas Wesleyan.