The Abilene Christian softball team will make its 2012 home debut Friday against East Central as a part of the two-day, four-team Whitten Inn Classic.
The Wildcats will play their first game Friday at 10 a.m. against the Tigers. The team began their 2012 campaign last weekend at the St. Mary’s Invitational Tournament, where the team went 3-1, its only loss to East Central. After losing their season opener, the ‘Cats won three straight games.
“Last weekend was a solid weekend for us,” head coach Bobby Reeves said. “I was pleased with the way we started the year off. East Central got the best of us in the first one, but I think nerves had a big part in that game. It will fun to play them on our own turf.” Our girls are looking forward to the opportunity to avenge that loss.”
The Tigers (2-0) enter the matchup on a bit of a hot streak after beating ACU 6-3 in their season opener as well. The team, who went (38-16) last year, has combined to outscore its opponents 14-10 in two games, are led offensively by junior shortstop Shelby Simmons, who has the team lead in hits and shares the lead runs batted in with senior first baseman Emily Kennemer.
“They have a tremendous offensive team and play some pretty good defense,” Reeves said. “They’re solid all around the board.”
The Wildcats’ first game of the tournament Saturday will be against the Lions of Missouri Southern State, a team the Wildcats have never played.
The Lions have yet to play a game this season, but are coming off the program’s best season since 2002 after going 32-22 last year. The team returns eight players and four starters from last year’s squad.
ACU will then play Texas Woman’s at 4 p.m. Saturday to close the tournament.
The Pioneers (1-2) are led offensively by junior infielder Jordan Readicker’s five hits and senior outfielder Addison Staley’s three RBI’s.
Defensively, sophomore pitcher Katie Hines leads the way for the Pioneers, as she is 1-0 with a 1.29 earned run average this season.
The Pioneers are coming off a (30-26) season, and Reeves is excited to play them.
“Their coaching staff will have them ready to play,” Mosley said. “They lost two of three over the weekend last week, but that definitely isn’t the type of team they are. I’m sure they’ll be ready to go.”
Following the Whitten Inn Classic, ACU will host Central Oklahoma for a doubleheader at 1 p.m. Sunday.
The Bronchos will be coming off their first game of the season, which is against Angelo State on Saturday.
Last year, the team went (25-23) and was led offensively by senior outfielder Kayce Rains in hits and runs, and catcher Kacie Edwards, who led the team in RBI’s.
The Wildcats enter this slew of games clicking on all cylinders. The pitching staff has been exceptional, transfer Caitlyn Crane went 2-0 last weekend, including a complete game against Rollins College. Shelby Hall and Peyton Mosley combined to throw a five-hit shutout against Texas A&M-International.
The defense only one error in its first four games, and added four double plays to its resume.
“Our pitchers need to just come out and do work this weekend,” sophomore Peyton Mosley said. “We did a really good job getting started last weekend, and we need to echo that this weekend.”