With all the snow still on the ground it’s difficult to believe that spring is right around the corner. That means goodbye basketball and hello softball.
Since the Shepherd Softball team last took the field, a couple big changes have been made to give them higher hopes for this season. As of July 2015, the Rams have had a new interim head coach, Danielle Easton. Easton had been the assistant coach for Shepherd for four seasons and now takes the reins for the 2016 season.
Easton announced in October that Carla Shepherd would be her right hand as assistant coach for this coming season. Shepherd was previously an assistant coach for George Mason University and worked with their pitching and catching staff.
The Rams are coming off of a 2015 season in which they were 20-23 overall and 11-15 in the conference.
The Rams graduated four seniors, which left big shoes to fill. Two of those seniors were first base/catcher Savannah Snyder and outfielder Taylor Schaefer who had the number one and number four batting averages for the team.
There are six freshmen on this year’s squad who are eager to get out on that diamond and fill the shoes of those graduated seniors.
Some key contributors who are returning include sophomore short stop Courtney Clemons, sophomore outfielder Jessica Robinson and sophomore catcher Molly Staley.
The Rams were picked to finish fourth in the North Division on the 2016 Mountain East Conference Preseason Poll. Ahead of Shepherd in the North Division is Wheeling Jesuit at number one, Notre Dame at number two and Fairmont State at number three.
The Rams have spent countless hours in the weight room and on the diamond gearing up for the season which starts Feb. 26 when they travel to Greenville, Tennessee to partake in the Pioneer Classics.
Their home opener is scheduled for March 2 when they with host East Stroudsburg University.