UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | June 17, 2024

Utah Tech softball set for 2023 season

Hannah Hughbanks a senior exercise science major, from Chino Hills, California, getting ready for the tournament in Hawaii this week. Miki Akiyama | Sun News Daily

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Utah Tech University’s softball team’s season starts right around the corner with its first tournament taking place Feb. 10-12 in Manoa, Hawaii.

The team has prepared intensely in the off-season in order to win big this weekend and the rest of the season.

Head coach Randy Simkins said the team has been working on “everything” during the off-season.

“We have just been getting back into the swing of things,” Simkin said. “The continuity in our line-up, defensively and offensively, helps us tremendously, but we have a few new players pushing for time, so we are working on getting them comfortable.”

There are six new freshmen on the team this season and 16 returning players. Every single one of these players has set high expectations and multiple goals for the 2023 season.

No. 14 Hannah Hughbanks, a senior recreation and sports management major from Chino Hills, California, said, “Our number one goal is to win the WAC championship and the WAC tournament, but we also want to have high fielding percentage and high batting averages.”

In order to accomplish these goals, the team has been working on the fundamentals together as a team and on their own. They are practicing every day and getting the reps in that are needed to improve along with working on trusting their preparation and always being ready to compete.

No. 17 Kate Dolinski, a senior psychology major from Fort Langley, British Columbia, said the pitching staff has their own specific goals for the season.

“We want to get ahead in all our counts and get the off-batters out,” Dolinski said. “To do this, we need to stay focused, attack the zone and rely on our skills.”

Not only do the Trailblazers push themselves on the field by staying late and showing up early to practice, but they have been working hard in the weight room.

“Nobody cares, work harder” is the slogan on the back of the warm-up shirts and is the team’s motto for this season.

Simkin said: “The game doesn’t care if you are 0-3 with three strikeouts or three home runs; it is the same balls and strikes the next time. The game doesn’t care if you are having a bad day. We always say nobody cares, work harder. That is what is going to get us to the top of the conference is working hard. If you are doing the same thing everybody else is doing, you are going to be as good as everybody else. We don’t want to be as good as everybody else; we want to be better.”

The Trailblazers are excited to get the 2023 season started and show their progress with the goal of bringing big wins for Utah Tech.