Bluejay softball will show ‘significant improvement’

The 2008 season of Tabor College softball opened Feb. 27. The Bluejays are 1-9 so far, but have already tied last year?s total for victories.

Tabor won a total of one game a season ago?a 7-2 slugging of Saint Mary in late April.

First-year coach Johnny Bassett has much higher hopes for this year?s team.

?This team is a year older from last year,? he said. ?They have another year of experience under their belt. There are some real quality athletes on this team. I can?t imagine anything but significant improvement from this squad.?

With program veterans Stephanie Regrut, Clancey Kelley, Alyssa Voth and Aubrey Whitehorn returning, much of the core of the 2007 team remains intact.

The team went 1-15 in conference games and placed last in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference.

?We only have 13 players on our roster, but don?t let that fool you,? Bassett said. ?We have no shortage of leaders on this team. They all want to win, and they all know it will take a lot of hard work. This year, what we lack in depth, we?ll make up for with determination.?

Incoming sophomore Ashley Cohlmia will also be a key player.

?Ashley can crush the softball and she?ll provide stability at third base,? Bassett said. ?I?ll look for both her to be very productive in the middle of our lineup this year.?

A doubleheader with Haskell March 1 highlighted the team?s potential weaknesses.

?In both games our offense wasn?t where it needed to be,? Bassett said. ?We had several opportunities to take the lead and win the games, especially the first game, and we just didn?t capitalize.?

On March 5, the Bluejays split a doubleheader against Central Christian to get their first win by a 9-0 margin.

Cohlmia sparked the offense.

The Tabor Web site reported that she ?led off the inning with a double and, nine batters later, punctuated it with a three-run home run to deep left-center field.?

Kalie George threw a complete game shutout while allowing only five hits in five innings.

The Bluejays have scored six runs in seven games since, and have started the conference schedule 0-2.

Tabor faced Ottawa in a doubleheader Tuesday, and the team?s next conference games are April 2 at Southwestern. The Bluejays host Central Christian at 4 p.m. April 1.

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