Feb. 5, 2013
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- Featuring a core of 13 letterwinners and a veteran coach with more than 600 wins, combined with 10 fresh faces on the field and a pair of assistant coaches who reigned during their respective collegiate careers, the LMU softball team is primed to kick off the 2013 season this week.
The Lions open their 56-game slate Feb. 7-9, traveling to St. George, Utah, to take part in the Red Desert Classic. LMU will play five games over three days, matching up against Colorado State, Weber State, Utah, Utah State and Arkansas.
The season-opening tournament begins a 22-game road swing before the home opener on March. 12 against Bethune-Cookman.
The Lions close out the season with their 24-game Pacific Coast Softball Conference slate, seeking a fourth all-time title in their final year competing in the league before moving into the West Coast Conference in 2014.
Head Coach Gary Ferrin, in his 19th year at the helm of the program, is optimistic about this year's squad.
"It's an exciting year in the sense that we have 10 freshman and the possibility that at any one time four of them could be starting," he said. "This freshman class has upgraded this program better than its ever been in terms of depth.
"Now you also can't just replace a (Sam) Fischer and a (Kelly) Sarginson, among the others we graduated. But you look improve in other places. I expect we'll have a better defense. I expect our pitching will be healthy and therefore better."
Key returners for the Lions are the senior pitching duo of Molly Medeiros and Dana Waldusky, both of whom were 15-game winners in 2012. Senior first baseman/catcher Olivia Alvarez, a 2012 All-PCSC Honorable Mention selection, also returns along with a healthy senior outfielder Danielle Smith. Smith missed half the season last spring, including all of PCSC play after sustaining a torn ALC 27 games in.
Newcomers who will be asked to step into key rolls immediately include freshman right-handed pitcher Sydney Gouveia (Arroyo Grande, CA/Arroyo Grande HS), freshman shortstop Stephanie Maciel (Yorba Linda, CA/Esperanza HS) and sophomore transfer Breeanna Sandovol (La Verne, CA/CSU Bakersfield).
Off the field, additions to the coaching staff have also boosted the program in the form of former U.S National Team member and Cal State Fullerton standout Gina Oaks and two-time All-American and UCLA graduate Katie Schroeder.
"They bring a different dynamic to the table," said Ferrin of his two new assistants. "Both were All-Americans. Both have come out of two of the top programs in the country in their era. They're winners. They know how to win. You hope that besides the teaching that they will provide, that part of that winning mentality will rub off our players."