The softball team is looking forward to getting out on the field with high expectations and hopes of a conference win and reaching nationals. The players have worked hard in the offseason and are ready to showcase their game as they travel to Texas on Feb. 17 to start their season.
Head coach Aubree Brattin returned to the college after starting her softball career as a Cavalier and finished by playing professionally. She is entering her sixth season as head coach with expectations to uphold the tradition of a successful softball program.
“Our goals are to win the conference, to win a district tournament and make it to the national tournament and hopefully bring home a ring at the end of the year,” Brattin said. “As a coaching staff, we try to bring in athletes that will continue to uphold that tradition of a successful program so we have high expectations year to year.”
With just three returning players and a roster full of fresh faces, Brattin has turned to her sophomores to lead the team.
“We’ve got a good, well-rounded group with those three sophomores; one is a pitcher, one is a utility player and one is a catcher,” Brattin said. “They hit every aspect of the field and their roles are to perform and do everything that is expected because they really set the tone of the team.”
Even with so many new faces on the team, Brattin praised the team’s chemistry and strong relationships with one another so early on in the season.
“A huge strength of this team is that they’ve already built that team chemistry that is so important and hard to come by at the junior college level,” Brattin said. “They are very well bonded off of the field and they’ve built up the relationship so they’re friends and want to have each other’s back on and off the field.”
Sophomore Halle Still has her sights set on a conference win and a trip to nationals and said those goals can be achieved with a strong team bond.
“For our team to be successful we need to have a lot of communication, talk about our goals throughout the entire season and continue to have strong team chemistry,” Still said. “I expect our team to win the conference, go to nationals and have under five losses the whole season.”
Washburn University commit Taylor Kirk said that the team works just as hard in the classroom as they do on the field.
“We always set goals before the semester starts and our biggest goal as a team is to reach at least a 3.0 GPA,” Kirk said. “We have a team study hall, individual study hall hours we have to get done and grade checks.”
Brattin said that the team is required to sit in the first two rows of class and have both required team and individual study halls.
“The team knows that if they don’t do their job in the classroom, that they’re not even going to get the opportunity to do their job on the field,” Brattin said. “We put a big emphasis on their academics coming first because you can’t play softball forever.”
Freshman Madison Wegner chose the college because of coach Brattin.
“I signed with Johnson County because I really liked Coach Brattin and I enjoy her coaching style; she’s a real go-getter and expects a lot out of her players and I think that makes a good coach and softball program,” Wegner said.
Wegner is always ready to support a teammate whether on the softball field or off and said her strong work ethic helps her be a team player.
“My biggest strength as a player and person is my work ethic because everyone can always expect me to come out here everyday and work as hard as possible,” Wegner said. “I’m always here for a teammate on and off the field if they need to talk or need someone to look up to.”
View the team’s schedule, standings and news at http://www.jccc.edu/cavs/womens-sports/softball/index.html