By Chuck Tidmore
Sports Information Assistant
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Huntingdon softball team is looking to rebound after a disappointing performance last season.
Entering their third season in the USA South Athletic conference, the Lady Hawks want to improve on last season's 20-18 record and 13-10 conference record. The season also saw Huntingdon snap a streak of four straight appearances in a conference championship game.
Although Huntingdon was picked seventh in the conference preseason poll, head coach Gynger Williams believes her team will surprise some people.
"I think we'll do better than seventh," Williams said. "The good thing with this ranking is that it takes the bullseye off of our backs and will let us play more relaxed."
Williams enters her eighth season as the Lady Hawks' head coach and feels optimistic about her team this year after a long preseason.
"I feel pretty good about these girls and what they can do," Williams said. "We don't have a very deep roster, but we do have talent at every position and I'm feeling optimistic with the players we have."
After graduating seven seniors, this year's roster features 17 players. With just three freshmen, the majority of the team has game experience.
"Our players have gotten a lot stronger since last year," Williams said. "The new strength program has really paid off and our returners have improved their mental toughness.
"I expect Daisha Henderson, Chelsea Messer and Blake Rowland to step up for us and be leaders for our team. We have some younger girls that had a lot of playing time last season and that will help them greatly. These girls are very team oriented and aren't afraid to play different positions to help the team."
The Lady Hawks open their season this weekend against 18th ranked Emory University and Agnes Scott in the 3n2 Elite Event in Atlanta. Williams said the Lady Hawks will have a better understanding about themselves after the weekend.
"I just want the girls to play their ball and get comfortable with their positions," Williams said. "These are two pretty good teams so we will know where we stand afterwards."
Huntingdon opens with Agnes Scott at 9 a.m. and Emory at 1 p.m. on Saturday and will play Emory at 9 a.m. and Agnes Scott at 11 a.m. on Sunday.