Belmont’s Softball team will be starting their season this Friday at home against Western Michigan. This game among others is part of the Bruin Challenge tournament that will go through Sunday.
Last season, the Bruins finished with an overall record of 31-23 and 12-10 in the Ohio Valley Conference. They made it to the OVC Championship and plan to get there again this year.
“I think we are a lot closer to that championship, so I am excited for the team and just for my last season. It’s going to be an exciting one,” said senior Brooklin Lee.
Belmont was picked to finish sixth in the 2020 OVC Softball Coaches Poll behind Austin Peay, Murray State, Eastern Kentucky, Jacksonville State and Southeast Missouri State, who were picked to finish first.
Belmont lost six seniors last year, but still have Brooklin Lee, who earned Second Team All-OVC honors last season as a junior and led Belmont’s pitchers in ERA with an average of 2.52.
As a senior, Lee’s goal is to help bring up the younger players through leading by example and hard work.
“I hope to lead by example this season. I want the younger girls on the team to see that I am working hard. I just want them to see what I am doing and try to go off of that,” said Lee.
Lee made appearances in all 54 games, starting all but one last season. She is ready to give it her all one more time. She and her team got a taste of the championship last season but wants to finally get that big win.
“I hope to bring home a championship,” said Lee. I want us to have a fun season, but my ultimate goal is to finally win one. I’ve been working for it for four years now.”
The Bruins have a new face leading them in Megan Rhodes Smith and assistant coaches Kelsey Cartwright and Laura Dukes. Coach Smith, who spent the past six years at Lipscomb, is confident in her new team to make a big impact this season.
“Shooting for a championship and also shooting to exude a certain level of confidence and mentality. We would like to see this team play with a lot of freedom. Top goal would be to play with that freedom,” said coach Smith, a Nashville native.
This is a team that means business and is ready to take on this season Friday at Rose Park, said senior pitcher Brittany Kennett.
“Last year we were really competitive and we want to bring that into this year,” said Kennett. “Continue the competitiveness and go out every single game no matter what team we play, no matter who they are.”
The Bruins play Western Michigan, Green Bay, Marist and Northern Kentucky at Rose Park on Opening Weekend. The team will then play 21 of its next 23 games on the road. But conference play starts with four straight home games on March 28 and March 29.
Article by Hanley Riggs.