The Hawkeye

Softball lands back on the bayou

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Softball lands back on the bayou

Kris Albert, [email protected]

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A whole new branch of Warhawks athletics is ready for its turn to run wild in Monroe. Fall sports are ramping up practice as their seasons draw near. ULM’s softball program is undergoing a renaissance of sorts. With newly announced head coach Molly Fichtner in the fold, the Hawks look to dominate. “Coach Molly has been a perfect fit and already made so many positive impacts in the short time she has been here,” Tori Fugatt said.

ULM is coming off a 24-29 season where they went 10-19 in conference play. Their season was ended in the first round of the conference championships with a narrow loss to top-seeded Troy.

This year’s team returns 15 players including two Sun Belt All-Conference team members. Sydney McKay earned first-team honors leading the conference in runs scored (47), hits (75) and at-bats (191) while being second in batting average (.393). Also returning is all-Sun Belt second teamer Jayden Mount. Mount was nineth in the nation in on-base percentage (.577), making her OBP was the best for a season in ULM history. Mount was also named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division I All-Region Team as a second-team selection.

McKay and Mount are the leaders of the team, but they are not the only thing to look out for. Brie Wrobel returns behind the plate after a very productive year starting in 34 of 41 games. Jessie Watts and Tori Fugatt return to the pitching crew with four newcomers. Blaire Wilson, Murphy Williams, Karly Taranto and Adrianna Chavarria look to add important pitching depth. The infield will be led by seniors Bailey Thibodeaux, Megan Shaw, Jaclyn Kresta and Mount. McKay leads the outfield and is paired with Victoria Pederson.

ULM also added Butler Community College transfer Nykiah Hines. Hines looks to replace former Warhawks Hunter Hogan and Rochelle Roberts (both first-team all-Sun Belt), adding her elite speed and playmaking ability. Freshmen Korie Kreps also looks to help fill the void.

The major change this season for the Warhawks has come at the top. Newly announced Head Coach Molly Fichtner looks to turn things around.

“She has played and coached around success and knows exactly what it takes to win,” Fugatt said. Fichtner enjoyed a great playing career, highlighted by her days at powerhouse Alabama. She comes to Monroe from East Carolina University. She has coached all positions, specializing in outfield skills, catching and hitting.

The team has a very versatile set of skills as batting, pitching, base running/stealing and defense are all seen as strengths. ULM opens their fall schedule Sunday, Oct. 7 with a doubleheader vs. Bossier Parish Community College.

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The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe
Softball lands back on the bayou