Softball Season Preview: Leopards open up season at Coppin State

Kyle Johnson

2016 Season:

13-32, 3-15 in conference

Key Players:

Brooke Wensel ’19

Stacy Gordon ’19

Sam Sweigart ’20

Stephanie Thomas ’20

What’s Changed:

The Leopards will welcome the new year with a new mindset. With almost no key losses, the deep team is looking to stay in the moment in order to accomplish their goals.

What’s the Same:

The Leopards bring back a majority of their key players and will showcase a very deep squad. Junior Sam Sweigart and sophomore Brooke Wensel will anchor the middle infield and serve in key spots in the lineup. Junior Stephanie Thomas is also returning, coming off a strong sophomore campaign where she finished second overall in hitting.

Strengths:

After setting a program record in fielding percentage in 2016, the anchors of the team’s defense are back. This includes Sweigart and Wensel, who can stack up against anybody in the Patriot League up the middle. Junior center fielder Morgan Biddle has exceptional range in the out-field and is as sure-handed as it gets, only recording three errors in her tenure here.

Weaknesses:

The focus for the Leopards this year will be strongly closing out games. If they can do this, they will eliminate the close losses they’ve experienced in the past.

What to watch for:

Wensel is one of the best shortstops in the Patriot League and will look to back it up this year. She has already been listed as a pre-season Patriot League selection and could have another monster year.

Patriot League Contenders:

Lehigh rounds out the top spot with Army coming in as a close second in the pre-season Patriot League poll.

Key Games:

March 3 @ Coppin State

April 1 vs. Lehigh

April 12 vs. Villanova