North Texas Daily

Coaching and chemistry causes softball improvement

Coaching and chemistry causes softball improvement

Coaching and chemistry causes softball improvement
March 20
02:42 2014

Ehsan Azad // Staff Writer

In a turnaround performance from last year, the Mean Green softball team continues to have a historical start to their season, posting 19 wins so far with the conference schedule portion kicking in soon.

The softball team started the season 1-3, but followed it with a program-best 11-game win streak. The team currently stands at 19-10, an improvement from the 16-13 record at this point last season and the players see more improvement coming.

Brooke Foster

Brooke Foster

They believe the big difference this year is new head coach Tracey Kee.

“We are all on board for Coach Kee’s plan,” senior shortstop Brooke Foster said. “I think she fits well into the way our team works which is high intensity and high focus.”

Foster attributes the team’s overall energy to the coaching staff, as she believes the staff’s has trickled down to the rest of the team, creating a fun and winning atmosphere. Senior outfielder Jackie Miller said her full elaboration of every game aspect is also huge for everyone.

Miller said she’s been playing for more than 17 years, and Kee’s breakdowns of the game have opened up her eyes.

“I have learned so many things that make so much sense,” Miller said. “The mindset and game planning is what she is fantastic at.”

Kee said her efforts are all toward getting her players in the right mindset and to understand the team’s potential.

Jackie Miller

Jackie Miller

“I wanted them to know that we can do great things here,” Kee said.

Kee said she wants to prove to the team she has the experience and passion to get them to where they want to go. She said she is very consistent with her expectations of the team and tries to keep everyone as grounded as possible.

“They understand that every day is about getting better,” Kee said. “We keep their spirits tightened and try to push them out of their comfort zones.”

The players also see the team chemistry as a high point, with a good mix of young and old players who enjoy playing with each other.

“There is hardly anything you can complain about because all the classes get along so well,” freshman pitcher Grimes said. “We all know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, which allows us to play better.”

While the upperclassmen are leading the team this year, many of the younger players are enjoying helping the seniors leave after their best season.

Kenzi Grimes

Kenzi Grimes

“That is what I work for every day, so that these seniors can leave on a high note,” Grimes said.

The expectations for the team are high, with the end result being to get into post-season play. That was the goal set by Kee at the start of the season and it hasn’t changed.

“You are not just going get into post-season, you are going to have to earn it,” Kee said. “They understand that if you want it, you are going to have to work harder than you ever have before.”

Feature photo: Freshman pitcher Kenzie Grimes trots in from third base after hitting a towering three-run home run during a home game on Feb. 23 . Grimes hit the second home run of the second game against Texas State University. Photo by Edward Balusek / Staff Photographer 

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