With Valentine’s day right around the corner, couples around the world will be purchasing diamonds in hopes of things to come. The Ferris State University softball team however, has their eye on a much larger diamond covered in fresh cut grass.
With the team’s first outing of the season set for Friday, Feb. 24, against McKendree in the Midwest Region Crossover, the Bulldogs have been preparing for the season opener in the midst of a coaching change.
In late August of 2016, Ferris announced the resignation of then Head Coach Wally King and appointed Adam Kirkpatrick, who was an assistant under King, interim head coach.
The fact that Kirkpatrick was an assistant under King seems comforting to Ferris softball players.
“Not much has changed,” said senior Kayti Carlson, who is serving as student assistant for the Bulldog softball team this season. “Drills continue to be fast paced and Coach Kirkpatrick has done a very good job at keeping the team focused. The transition from Coach King to Coach Kirkpatrick has been smooth because their methods are the same.”
Last season was extremely successful for the Bulldogs as they went 36-18 under King. Kirkpatrick will need to prepare his Bulldogs if he wishes to meet that mark as well.
“Coach Kirkpatrick understands what it takes,” said sophomore outfielder Jaclyn Stone. “He is especially good at getting us to focus on the mental aspects of the game, not just the physical aspects. We know how to deal with adversity and I believe that this Bulldog team will come back just as strong, if not stronger than last year.”
Transitioning from one coach to another can be a difficult thing to do for most teams, but the Bulldogs softball team seems poised to win, regardless of who is at the helm.