With four games remaining this season, the Lady Sharks softball team is attempting to qualify for the Florida Collegiate System Activities Association Athletics State Tournament for the first time since 2016.
The Lady Sharks have a 23-21 record including an 10-6 mark in Southern Conference play, placing them one game behind second-place Eastern Florida State College.
After a 13-7 record in March, Head Coach Gina De Agüero hopes her team uses the momentum to roll into the State Tournament.
“We just have to keep working,” De Agüero said. “Where we stand in our conference right now is important because the rest of our games are all conference games and we have to win all of them in order to qualify.”
Though the team isn’t outstanding statistically, their defense has led them to sustained success.
The team has a .928 fielding percentage and its pitchers have a solid 3.86 earned run average. On the defense aside, De Agüero wants the team to continue to play with technique as well as attitude.
“You need both, your attitude has to be from where you’re learning your mistakes, you’re staying upbeat and being a good team player,” De Agüero said. “As for technique, you just have to get the fundamentals down packed, and that’s how you execute the plays.”
Two sophomores, shortstop Melissa Mayeux and starting pitcher Tiffany Dodson, have been the team’s foundation throughout their recent success.
Mayeux has accounted for six of the team’s 12 home runs and leads the team in slugging percentage with a .793 average.
She has also felt revitalized as the team sees increased success.
“Last year we were all freshman so it was hard for us to get the team spirit,” Mayeux said. “Right now we all know each other and definitely are stronger than last year. We’re adjusting all the time. When I struggled on defense I personally would work with Gina to try and figure out things to get better in the game.”
Dodson is experiencing a rebound season. She has a .943 fielding percentage, averages 4.11 strikeouts per game and is 10-12 as a starter. After a tough stretch at the start of the season, De Agüero helped her get back on track.
“She has just been there for me and helped me a lot,” Dodson said. “She has been there for everyone really and for the team, she has worked individually with us and picked out what we’ve done wrong and fixed it.”
Now, the Lady Sharks are hoping to make a push for the playoffs as the season winds down.
“We just need to get more wins and keep going up from here,” Dodson said.
The Lady Sharks’ next game is a doubleheader at Broward College on April 18 at 5 p.m.