Bishop Ryan softball split their season-opening series on Tuesday, but hope to make bigger noise later on.
The Lions are under new leadership with first-year head coach Sal Rodriquez. He says he wants to change the mentality of the program.
“Bring a lot of energy every day and a coachability, learn the game and just every day have fun,” said Rodriquez.
“He can really get us pumped up and excited for the season even if we’re having a bad game or whatever, he is always there to motivate us so that’s really good,” said senior shortstop Sylvie Kramer.
Coach Rodriquez says he brings back about 11 girls from two seasons ago and he will be leaning heavily on his five senior leaders.
“I think they bring a lot of energy, I also think they bring the hunger that they lost a season last year,” said Rodriquez. “So they want to bring that energy and go out and compete every day now, so teaching the younger players how to bring that energy every day is going to be big.”
“We just got to be leaders, so of them have never played softball before or even hit so we just got to be ready to lead them and have the confidence in them and not get frustrated with them or ourselves,” added senior catcher Taylor Hrichena.
But the Lions know they will have to get the younger players to fill the shoes of the players that graduated last season.
“I think to bring that hunger, show them that the younger girls can play too, bring that youthfulness, and just show them what it’s like to really love the game again,” said Rodriquez.
The goal this year is to hang a banner in the Bishop Ryan gym, but they know building skills daily will be a key factor this season.
“Just be real disciplined, take every day as a new opportunity to learn and grow as a team and just support each other and I think at the end of the day we will be in good shape,” said Rodriquez.
“A lot of effort and putting everything in practices, games and just everything we got and not getting down on ourselves and remembering that the younger girls are still learning and now you got to push them as hard as we do ourselves,” said Hrichena.