In her first season as the Marion softball head coach, Jill Hudson has set a goal to improve from a sub-par 2009 season.
?That?s why we?re really drilling the fundamentals with these girls,? Hudson said. ?Because if you take care of the little things, big things will happen.?
Early practices have focused on setting a foundation of good habits.
?Really a lot of reps and a lot of fundamentals,? Hudson said, ?from fielding, to hitting, to throwing. We?re doing game situations and infield position. My assistant coach is working with the outfield.?
Loaded with upper-classmen and freshmen, the Warriors will fill most of their positions with experienced players. But all positions are up for grabs.
?I like that,? Hudson said, ?because if I?need to play a player at a different position, she?s ready to go there.?
Besides setting a goal to improve fundamentals, MHS will focus on asserting itself offensively.
?We?re going to run the bases aggressively,? Hudson said. ?We?re going to be hitters up there. We?ve got the pitching machine going. We?ve got the five-point tee. We?ve got the hitting stick. Then we?ll do live pitching. So we?re getting lots of reps.?
Marion will be led by four seniors: Tiffany Christensen, Brooke Johnson, Emily Rogers and Anna Laurin.
Hudson said the girls have talent, but they need to work on confidence and mental toughness.
?The years these girls have had, they don?t know what it?s like to win. They don?t think they can,? she said. ?They?ve got the potential. They?ve got the skills. Now they need to get the mindset to win, to be confident, to trust in themselves.?
Marion opens the season at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Sterling.