Softball will rely on unity, experience in ’98 campaign

by J.R. Gonsalves
Assistant Sports Editor

Softball is a team sport, and in 1998 the University of La Verne has a program with a team attitude.

The Leopards have seven returning starters: senior outfielder Jamie Anderson; senior outfielder Teresa Garcia; senior pitcher/first baseman Amber Hall, senior third baseman Liz Lomeli; sophomore second baseman Jamie Poole; junior outfielder Jennifer Thompson; and junior outfielder Lindsey Weber.

Last season, the Leopards were 17-22 overall and 9-15 in the Southern California Intercollegiate Conference (SCIAC), but this season promises to be better, according to head coach Julie Kline.

“We are fortunate to have a team skilled and talented enough to contribute in every aspect of the game,” said Kline.

The Leopards figure to be one of the top teams in their respected conference this season, along with Cal Lutheran and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.

Kline said Redlands and Whittier will surprise some teams. Kline is entering her sixth year as head coach and comes in the 1998 campaign with a career record of 105-85.

This season Kline sees the playoffs as a possibility for the Leopards.

“If we continue to work hard and execute, we will do very well in league and possibly go further-playoffs maybe,” said Kline.

La Verne is solid from top to bottom. There are 12 players on the Leopards’ roster that can hit and play the field according to Kline. This will be a welcome addition to a team that scored 187 runs but committed 90 errors a year ago.

Overall, ULV hit .334 and compiled a 3.72 team ERA in 1997.

The Leopards must play to their strengths in 1998 and the possibilities might be endless for this team.

“I think we look really good so far,” said Hall, who studied abroad last spring. “We have a lot of new players and how good we are will depend on how well we mold together as a team.”

Hall said the team will not know where it is as a unit until its season begins. The big test for La Verne will be when it plays the stronger teams in its conference.

The Leopards open their season tomorrow at home against SCIAC foe Cal Lu at 2 p.m.

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