After being eliminated in the quarterfinals of the National Junior College Athletic Association National Championship Tournament by Chipola College last May, the Lady Sharks are ready to get back on the softball field.
The Lady Sharks, who won 34 games last year in the regular season, will be lead by sophomores Erin Sundook and Crystal Garcia.
Garcia, a shortstop, had 29 RBI, four home runs and a .377 batting average last year. Sundook, who played catcher, first base and outfield, had 22 RBI, two home runs, and a .291 batting average.
“Both of these young ladies respect the game, play the game with passion and are determined to succeed,” Lady Sharks Head Coach Gina De Aguero said. “They are very knowledgeable of the game and are natural leaders; their actions speak for themselves.”
A lot is expected of Garcia and Sundook on the field, both as players and in terms of leadership. Despite the expectations, the duo has not been deterred.
“There is a pressure, but it’s not a negative one,” Sundook said. “ I like that it pushes [Crystal and I] and we know that we just have to keep working hard for our teammates.”
But they will not have to carry the burden alone. De Aguero believes the Lady Sharks have a talented freshmen class.
“I feel that any one of them can break through and have a phenomenal season,” De Aguero said.
One notable freshman is pitcher Louisa DiSi, who played at Springstead High School in Spring Hill, Florida last year.
During her senior year, DiSi had 21 wins, 305 strikeouts, and a 1.22 earned run average. While her opponents had a paltry .119 batting average against her.
DiSi is expected to be the Lady Sharks top starting pitcher this season.
In order to go even farther than last year, De Aguero stated that the team must improve its offense.
“This season, we need to improve on our hitting,” De Aguero said. “Last season my pitchers dominated in games, so we were able to score less runs and get wins out of them.”
For a team that has shown consistency over the past three seasons by averaging around 30 victories yearly, having another great season is nothing new.
“There’s talent. Lot’s and lot’s of talent,” Garcia said. “As long as we stick together, we’ll be fine.”
The Lady Sharks next game will be on the road, Feb. 10 at 3 p.m. versus Florida Southwestern.