“LCCC Softball is no longer a joke,” said second year coach Tony Contreras when referring to this year’s Lorain County Community College softball team.
Contreras is looking to improve on his team’s 5-6 record last season. “Last year I wanted .500 or better, we didn’t quite get there. But this year I’m expecting it.” Along with those expectations for the season, Contreras talked about the struggles he’s faced thus far as a coach for LCCC. “The biggest struggle we have would be our numbers – getting enough girls to play and keep them eligible all season.”
Contreras also commented on the dilemma the team faces by only being able to practice indoors. “Indoor practice is okay, the outfielders suffer though. I can’t hit them the fly balls or line drives I would like to. For the infielders though, it’s perfect.”
Contreras would like to have a home field of their own someday. While the Commodores home field is just a short drive away at West Park Softball Field, he would like it better if the softball team had a field in the campus’ backyard. Contreras feels it would spark the interest of more students to attend the games, as well as gain interest for future players.
“Half of the school doesn’t even realize we have a baseball or softball team. It’s kind of sad,” Contreras added. “Seeing is believing. If you’re hungry for softball, come see me, I’ll feed you,” he said, encouraging LCCC students to support the softball and baseball teams.
Second-year player Kelly Wisniewski, second baseman, and outfielder, is very excited about this upcoming season. “I just can’t wait to play,” she said. “ I’m excited to just get on the field again.” Having fun is the only goal, Wisniewski added.
Brianna Gainer, a first-year player who plays third base, can’t wait to play in her first college game. “I feel that this will have a lot more competition that high school did. I’m looking forward to playing competitive teams and building camaraderie between the team.” Gainer added that she has specific goals for the coming season.“I want to hit above .400, I want to play well overall, have fun of course. I would like to achieve more than I did in high school,” Gainer said.
Another second year player, pitcher Kaitlyn Curtis-Campbell, is very team oriented. “My goals for this season are to do well as a team. With the team we have now, we should do well and expect good things,” Curtis-Campbell said.
Curtis-Campbell believes this year’s team shows more promise than last year’s. “It seems like the girls have more heart and passion,” she said. “We work well as a team.” The Commodores kick off their season on March 19, against Southern State. The first home game of the year is against Lakeland Community College on March 29.