Softball trains for breakout season before NCAA transition

As California Baptist University’s softball team enters its last season at the Division II level in 2018, it wants to go out with a bang.

The 2017 season for the Lancers had some extraordinary pieces to it.

It was the first year for Caitlyn Lloyd, sophomore journalism and new media major and outfielder, and Brittany Galvez, sophomore kinesiology major and third baseman, who dominated the season all year long.

As a team last year, the players set a program record by winning 26 straight games and won the PacWest Conference championship.

Moving forward, the Lancers want to take things a step further, said Ali Subia, senior kinesiology major and infielder, as she looks to finish her career strong.

“We have really high expectations this year for our team,” Subia said. “For our last year in Division II, our head coach went all out to give us the best possible chance of winning it all.”

Subia has spent her whole college career at CBU and serves as this year’s first baseman. She was voted captain at the beginning of the fall semester by her teammates, who said they have a tremendous amount of respect for her both on and off the field.

Amanda Springstead, senior psychology major and outfielder, is without a doubt the team’s vocal leader. She was voted in as captain this year after being an exemplary teammate and leader in her first three years.

Springstead serves the team as the right fielder this year and she said she has high expectations for the team as well.

“Coming off a winning season our expectations are high for the upcoming season. Of course, we want to win a PacWest title again this year, but we want to take it even further for our last year competing in Division II,” Springstead said. “Every woman on the team is holding one another accountable for going all out all year long. Our biggest goal is to win a national championship, but before that point, it would be a huge deal to host a regional and super-regional here at CBU.”

The captains also spoke of having new weapons on the team this year that is expected to make a major impact in their first season as Lancers.

Cheyann Tucker, junior kinesiology major and catcher, and Anise Avalos, junior kinesiology major and shortstop, are both transfer students and have made statements at the plate with their bats as well as being efficient defenders.

“As of now, the team is looking really good,” Subia said. “We have learned through the fall to mesh really well and play as a team. Only having five newcomers has really helped us bond because our team is mostly returners.”

Head coach Amy Ramirez said the transfers will bring more skill to the team.

“For the first time ever we brought on four junior college transfers,” Ramirez said. “With transfers comes experience and we are hoping their experience will add to the success of our team.”

Sprinstead said that she thinks the team is in a good spot competitively this year.

“It’s never easy to put a team together, but we’ve worked really hard to get prepared for the upcoming season.”

As the countdown to the season inches closer Springstead said the excitement is increasing,

“I’m looking forward to the competition. This year we have the opportunity to compete with teams in the regular season that we normally wouldn’t see until postseason” Springstead said. “We have a lot to look forward to.”

Subia said she is looking forward to seeing how her and her teammates will perform.

“Personally, this season I am looking forward to winning a second PacWest title and carrying that momentum forward to a national championship.”

The Lancers’ first home game will be Feb. 3rd against California State University, San  Marcos.

About Donnell Porter

Staff Writer

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