By Tiffany Underwood
The Colorado State University-Pueblo softball team hopes to improve on last year’s ninth place RMAC finish but they aren’t practicing where they normally would.
Instead they are practicing on one of their side fields while the main one gets new turf.
The team is coached by head coach Christie Koschke, and assistant coaches Andrea Smylie and Bob Zinanti. The team has two seniors, six juniors, six sophomores and five freshmen. “The team is looking forward to bigger things this year and I’m so excited for how they are looking,” Koschke said.
Alyssa Ubrun, who will see most of her time at shortstop this season, and pitcher K’Lee Kent make up the team’s two seniors. Other key returners include a trio of sophomores who are consistent at the plate. Hailey Bennett, Sabrina Felix and Gabby Moreno all hit above a .300 batting average as freshmen. “As a team, we always strive to be better and I believe we have the tools to win,” Ubrun said.
This year, CSU-Pueblo was voted to tie at No. 7 in the RMAC preseason coaches poll. “In the four years, I’ve been here this is the lowest we have been so I feel that gives us something to reach for because we know we are capable of being higher,” Ubrun said.
This weekend, the team played a preseason tournament at the Dixie State Classic in St. George, Utah. CSU-Pueblo won just one of five games at the tournament, their only win being a 5-4 opener against Montana State-Billings.
The Pack’s most successful hitter at the classic was junior catcher Michaela Burpee. In four games, Burpee hit .615 and batted in five runs, including a homer against Western Washington. Ubrun, who averaged .250 with a .667 slugging percentage at the classic, hit the Pack’s other home run in the opener.
The team will continue their season, playing 46 games throughout the next three months before a three-day RMAC tournament in May.