Oct. 1, 2013
The North Texas softball team has started its first week of team practice, and new head coach Tracey Kee is using the time to institute a new system and to get an assessment of where the team stands.
“Right now, everything is a challenge. I am asking the girls to really learn and learn and buy into something that they are not acclimated to,” said Kee. “Credit to them, I think they are doing a great job and they are working extremely hard mentally and physically. I’m pleased with that.”
The Mean Green’s fall season includes six contests beginning with a doubleheader against TWU at Pioneer Field on Friday, Oct. 11 at 4 p.m. North Texas hosts a doubleheader against NCTC on Saturday, Oct. 19 and will also play an alumni game on Nov. 2
Kee plans on getting the team as many looks as possible with the fall schedule. She will also have many players in different positions they have never played in before.
“The fall is just to get the players as much practice time as possible. Of course you want to win but the bottom line is to get an accurate assessment of where we are and what we have to work on.”
According to Kee, there are questions marks all over the field. But she is not panicking and it is letting the team get acclimated and figure out what her expectations are.
“I think we have some very good athletes on this team. When I watch them offensively, it’s exciting to see what they can do. Defensively, they are having a lot of system changes that they are having to adjust to, which it is to be expected. We are seeing some positives in the pitching staff. I’ve seen huge progress in four weeks.”
Junior infielder Dani Hoff likes how the Mean Green is coming together.
“I think we are gelling really well. Coach Kee gets so much out of us. She demands so much of us mentally and physically.”
Hoff sees the 2013-14 team as being more athletic than in years past and with more of an ability to manufacture runs. According to Hoff, the newcomers are working hard and are fitting right in with the upperclassmen.
One of those hard-working freshmen is Mallory Land. She is one of five newcomers to join the Mean Green.
“Practice has definitely been intimidating because you can see how hard the upperclassmen are working,” said Land. “The intensity they bring to the table just makes you want to match that.”
For the last four weeks, Kee and associate head coach Rone Robinson have been working with team in small groups, getting acclimated with everyone and trying to get a pulse for the squad.
“I think the thing that I am most proud of is their conditioning has gone through the roof,” said Kee. “We are pushing them mentally and physically. It’s a credit to them that are busting their humps every day and competing. I am asking them to invest a lot and to take a lot of responsibility. Good things will happen if they work hard.”