Fichtner’s team ready to take flight into 2022

Maggie Eubanks

As February approaches, so does softball season here on the bayou. The Warhawks, led by head coach Molly Fichtner, are set to open the season on Feb. 11. After finishing 17-32, the Warhawks are set to have a more successful season than they did in 2021. Many starters are returning to the lineup this season. 

Offensively, the Warhawks will be led by seniors Korie Kreps and Kennedy Johnson. Last season, they finished with .324 and .296 batting averages respectively. Kreps was also named to the Sun Belt Conference second team.  

Some players like freshman Kinsey Kackey will look to make their mark for the Warhawks. In high school, Kackey was named to the Texas All-American team her senior year and was the strikeout leader for 18 and under fastpitch teams. 

Another freshman joining ULM is California native Alexis Chavez. As an infielder and dynamic hitter, Chavez will play a key role in 2022 for the Warhawks. 

ULM has room to improve on the defensive side of the ball after committing 61 errors last season and finishing with a .954 fielding percentage. Fichtner and her squad have been focusing on defense in the off-season as the Warhawks finished second to last in conference fielding percentage in 2021. Improvement on this side of the ball will allow the offense to shine. 

Fichtner added to the coaching lineup by hiring Laina Holmgren from George Washington University as an assistant head coach and former Warhawk Jayden Mount as a graduate assistant coach. 

These additions will be beneficial to ULM as Holmgren has NCAA tournament experience from her time at GWU and Mount was named to the Sun Belt Conference first team last season. 

ULM is set to play an interesting schedule this season. Starting with a round-robin tournament in February, the Warhawks will play five different teams throughout the weekend. This will allow for the team to be tested early on as they will be looking at many different styles of play. 

ULM will also have the chance to test their skills against a couple of SEC opponents this season. They will play at the Auburn Invitational the last weekend in February where they will square up twice against the Tigers. And they will play a midweek matchup late in the season against the Mississippi State Bulldogs. 

One game that is marked on everyone’s schedules is the I-20 rivalry game against Louisiana Tech. The Warhawks will travel to play the Lady Techsters on March 8, but the Techsters will come to Monroe on April 5 for the second match up. 

Conference play will be on March 11 against Georgia Southern. ULM has high hopes to finish better than they did last season where they went 6-15. But with construction being done on Fichtner’s new Leadership Center. This building will give the team new locker rooms, a place to watch film and study, and adds to covered bullpens for the team. 

With all of these new additions, the Warhawks are poised to win in 2022.