Feb. 5, 2013
BEAUMONT, Texas – After an absence of 25 seasons, softball is about to make its long-awaited return to Lamar University. And the Lady Cardinals aren’t interested in taking baby steps in the rebirth of the program.
Lamar, which had softball for five seasons (1983 to 1987), will play a rather rigorous schedule in its first season under coach Holly Bruder, The Lady Cardinals open the campaign with a three-game homestand against UTSA starting with a 2 p.m. Feb. 9 doubleheader against UTSA at Ford Park.
The Lady Cardinals will face seventh-ranked Texas and 17th-ranked Texas A&M this season along with perennial strong teams such as Tulsa, Houston, South Alabama and Ole Miss.
“Our tough schedule will make us stronger,” Bruder said. “We’re going to face tough challenges, but that’s how we are going to get better.”
The Lady Cardinals field a young squad this season with 10 freshmen, four sophomores and four juniors on the 18-player roster. With no seniors on the team, Bruder is hopeful some of the younger players will take a leadership role.
“In the fall, everyone was looking at everyone else to see who would step up,” Bruder said. “I think we have some leade3rs emerging.”
Bruder named three captains for this season: juniors Candyce Carter and Tina Schulz along with sophomore Casey Cromwell.
“All three of them have some collegiate playing experience,” Bruder said. “We are going to rely on them.”
Pitching is arguably the most important position in softball, and the Lady Cardinals have four hurlers on the staff in right-handers Schulz, Ashley Rey and Melissa Smith along with left-hander Shannon Millman.
“The four pitchers are close in all categories,” Bruder said. “All of them are going to get a chance in the early part of the season.”
Lamar will play a full Southland Conference schedule this season, and will be eligible to compete in the conference tournament to vie for the automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.
“Our goal is to qualify for the conference tournament,” Bruder said. “Anything can happen when you get there. We want to be going to the postseason every year.”
Season tickets for the Lady Cardinals are available now by calling (409) 880-1715, or visiting www.LamarCardinals.com.