Practice Report 1/27
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- With the season opener just eight days away, the Indiana softball team continued its practice and training for the 2005 softball campaign. On Thursday, Jan. 27, the Hoosiers showcased their training with an informal intrasquad scrimmage. After practice was over head coach Stacey Phillips, along with senior Ashley Griffiths, junior Megan Roark and freshman Janetta Deaven sat down to talk about the preseason progress the Cream and Crimson have made, as well as a look ahead to the season opener.
On the improvements the team has made in the preseason:
SP: "The improvements have been huge. We are really communicating as a team. I told the team before the scrimmage to come out like it was gameday, and if we were playing, we would have won. That is the intensity this team brings to the field."
On the team's morale:
SP: "We have really come on as a whole team. We really support each other. You go out there and play 60-70 games and you have to deal with injuries and everything else a season brings, but we really have come together as a team and I think that will pay off for us this season."
On the hitters improvements through facing Mariangee Bogado and Megan Roark in practice:
SP: "We talk about it everyday in that if they can hit our pitchers, they can hit anyone. I feel that preseason-wise, we have two of the best pitchers in the Big Ten. We try to throw them quite a bit to give them looks against good hitters, but of course that gives our hitters looks against some high-caliber pitchers too. That will absolutely help them, and what will also help is that our top two pitchers are so different from one another. Our hitters will get a chance to see two styles of pitching and that will help us as a team."
On the main objective she wanted to get across in practice:
SP: "I talked today in practice about excitement. A week from now, we will be outside playing on dirt instead of being on the carpet inside and that it will be great to beat up on somebody else, rather than ourselves."
Her take on the best attribute this team brings to the table:
SP: "I am most impressed with the fact that this team loves this game. They don't care about all the drama off the field, but when they get on the field, softball is all they focus on."
On how the pitchers have looked in the offseason:
MR: "We have all worked really hard in the offseason. We have come together as a staff rather than just three or four individuals in the circle. That will be a big asset to us this year."
On how the different styles of all four pitchers will help the Hoosiers:
MR: "It is going to help because if one of use gets into trouble, then someone else can come in and bring a different style to the game and pick us up."
On her expectations in 2005:
MR: "I definitely want to finish in the top five of the Big Ten and make the Big Ten tournament."
Her feelings about the team since this is her senior year:
AG: "I am feeling very confident this year that the new girls that we have will come through and fill some holes from a year ago. We have so much intensity and focus and we all know that the more effort we put into the season, the better the results will be on the field."
Her role as a leader with such a young team:
AG: "I think that we are all excited on the season. Being one of the leaders on the team, we all know that it is our job to keep everybody focused. Some of the young girls have that mixed feeling of excitement and nervousness, but we need to let everyone know that we have to control that, do our best, and leave everything on the field."
On switching from a catcher in high school to first base:
JD: "I am just trying to listen to what all the coaches are telling me. I am trying to gather all their advice and just go out and play the best I can. It is different than my normal experiences, but it is an easier transition than I would say from first base to catcher, so I am just trying to get in as much practice and do my best."
On how her hitting has improved by facing the Hoosiers Pitching Staff:
JD: "All four pitchers are talented and to go up against Megan (Roark) and Mariagnee (Bogado), that will help all of us this season. Both of them have really helped me with some pitches and locations that I normally struggle with, but I am doing so much better now because of facing them everyday in practice."
Her main goals for the season:
JD: "We all want to get to the Big Ten Tournament. Individually, I just want to do whatever I can to get us there. If that means changing my position or sitting on the bench, the main goal is for all of us to get there together."
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