The Dixie State University softball team knows how to win.
Dixie State softball head coach Randy Simkins has a winning percentage of 76 as the DSU head coach.
Coming off of a 40-win season in 2013, the Red Storm have reached the postseason Regional Tournament for five consecutive years and come into this season with high expectations.
“Our goal is to make it back to the College World Series,” Simkins said. “We went there in 2009, and we are trying to make it back.”
This year’s team will be without four key seniors who graduated from last year’s squad.
“We might have some holes offensively to fill in,” Simkins said. “But our kids will step up and get it done.”
In fall ball this year, the Red Storm defeated Division I foe Brigham Young University in a 17-inning showdown that ended in a DSU upset.
“Our pitching is awesome,” said shortstop Josie Hartman, a freshman general education major from Mapleton. “We have a pretty good all around team too.”
Notables returning to this year’s squad will include junior outfield standouts Courtney Sherwin and Courtney Hine. Both will patrol the outfield and be a strong force in the batters box. Hine batted .397 last year as a sophomore, and she was one hit away from batting .400.
Simkins pointed out a few players in particular who he is excited to see play.
“(Marla Rider is) the best defensive catcher in the conference by far,” Simkins said. “She threw out 50 percent of runners trying to steal.”
The team is trying to stay focused on working together.
“Our No. 1 goal is team first in everything we do,” Hartman said. “I think that will be the key to our success. We have great team chemistry, and we are together 24/7, all day everyday. We are all best friends, every single one of us.
With key players in many different positions, the Red Storm feels confident about their team overall, but they feel especially confident about their deep pitching staff.
“We will rely heavily on our juniors and seniors,” Simkins said. “We also have three or four legit starting pitchers.”
DSU softball begins Feb. 4 at home in a double header against Montana State University-Billings.