High hopes

Ferris softball looks to start their season off right

This upcoming weekend the Ferris softball team opens play in Louisville, Ky., knocking out a couple double headers back-to-back.

They square off between two regional foes that are known to be competitive. The first matchup is against the home team Bellarmine Knights. Last year Bellarmine University had an overall record of 22-27. The Bulldogs split their two meetings last year losing the first game then taking care of the Knights a few weeks later 8-3. This is a team the Bulldogs are familiar with and enjoy playing against.

“We have come across Bellarmine in the three years we’ve been here quite a bit. They’re a GLVC team they are in the region. They have not been ranked consistently but they are always very strong. So, it is a good thing for us to start out with a team that is going to be really competitive. We actually play them twice and then the next weekend play them once at our Midwest crossover. It is a great test for us coming out and it should be a very competitive ball game both times,” Head Coach Kristin Janes said.

The second team of the double header is the University of Findlay Oilers. The Bulldogs did not see them in play last year, however, the Oilers posted a solid 25-22 overall record. They had a rough start last year and then continued to get better as the year went on.

Early on in the year the Bulldogs will look to their returners who have been through the battles of this region.

“In any sport, anytime you start out, it’s your returners with the experience that you are going to lean on. Our infield will be pretty darn young so Kodi Ramirez at that shortstop position is a two-year starter in the infield so we will be looking to her to really keep that infield moving smoothly,” Janes said.

“Paige Kortz and Kylie Winkles are both returners in the outfield, so same thing. All three of their bats have been big for us in past years. We have a transfer behind the plate, Ali Magiera, she is a Division I and Junior College transfer so that experience will be huge.”

They also have a strong returning core at the mound that will see a lot of time this upcoming weekend. They will lean on starters and relievers such as Abby Highway, Kaitlyn Nugent and Connor Proctor. Proctor is ready to work outside of her comfort zone.

“I am going to play a lot of roles. I am going to do whatever they need, have fun and do whatever I am asked,” Proctor said. The players are excited and ready to see some new pitchers and batters to compete against. They are also ready to leave the Multi-Purpose room and for some real grass and dirt. This might also present a challenge for them.

“I feel like it’s just going to take an adjustment for us to do that. But I feel like we will do it quickly because if we can field the ball off the rubber room, we can literally field off of everything,” sophomore first basemen Kaitlyn Orme said.

Stay tuned and keep track of the girls next weekend as they look to start the season off on the right foot.