Despite Cold Temperatures, Softball Is Ready
DENTON, Texas (1/17/13) - The North Texas softball team plays its first game of the spring season in three weeks, but for the last two weeks of practice, it sure hasn't felt like spring. The Mean Green has had to deal with unusually cold temperatures
DENTON, Texas (1/17/13) - The North Texas softball team plays its first game of the spring season in three weeks, but for the last two weeks of practice, it sure hasn't felt like spring. The Mean Green has had to deal with unusually cold temperatures, a few days of heavy rain and even a little snow.
Sports that play in the spring usually have to deal with cold weather because teams will start training in early January. Squads will practice indoors or bundle up for outdoor sessions. The Mean Green softball team is used to a few days of bad weather, but the squad has been indoors for most of the season so far due to the cold temperatures.
The Mean Green still has its eyes on Friday, Feb. 8 when the team faces Memphis for its first game of the season.
The 2013 Mean Green team will feature a young but experienced squad. Twelve of the 19 players on the roster are freshmen or sophomores, but they are surrounded by a core of strong and versatile upperclassmen. The Mean Green will also have one of its largest and most experienced pitching squads for 2013.
North Texas will be led by its two seniors: utility player Lesley Hirsch and Brittany Simmons. Hirsch is a three-year starter who has seen time at third base, shortstop, second base and right field. She set personal bests as a junior. She was one of the Mean Green's hottest hitters down the stretch, hitting .500 the last 10 games and finished 2012 with a .304 batting average. She was fourth on the team with 51 hits and second with 25 walks.
Simmons is a right-handed pitcher who has become the workhorse for the Mean Green. She jumped out to a 9-6 record, then went 2-5 in the second half of the season, before finishing the season strong at 11-11. The 11 wins is a personal best as is her 94 strikeouts in 2012. She moved into the top five of most career pitching statistics at North Texas, including second in lowest career ERA.
Head coach T.J. Hubbard returns for his sixth season. He led the 2012 Mean Green softball team to its second winning season in school history at 28-26-1. He finished the 2012 season with an overall win-loss record of 132-137-1 after five years as head coach. Hubbard will be joined by two new assistant coaches in 2013: Rone Robinson and Erin Glasco. Robinson returns to the Mean Green after serving as a volunteer coach in 2009. He will work with the hitters, while Glasco will be in charge of the pitchers and catchers.