Friday, Feb. 1 marks the start of baseball and softball and both teams are already preparing for the upcoming season.
According to head baseball coach Bob Fornelli, the baseball team has been practicing since the middle of January.
“…We get our first chance to play as a team on February 1st which is Friday so [we are] excited about this opportunity,” Fornelli said.
Despite the weather, head softball coach Ashley Balazs believes the team is prepared for the start of the season.
“… We have had a pretty good balance of being able to get outside and work on our defense,” Balazs said. “… So, from a practice standpoint, we are looking pretty good.”
Fornelli believes the baseball team should have the “right mindset” so he is not going to put much pressure on them as far as goals and expectations for the season.
“I am not a big goal guy. I am going to tell (the team) we are going to play the right way each and every day,” Fornelli said. “We are going play with passion, play with heart… become brothers, and become a family and if we do that, we are going to be successful. So as far as putting a number on it, I am really not into that, but we are going to play the right way each and every day which should allow us to have the opportunity to be successful.”
Balazs is excited to see the softball team’s improvement since last season.
“I think it is always at the beginning of the year you are excited to see a lot of hard work get put into play and see what you have learned (and) how you have developed,” Balazs said. “I am excited to see the girls get out and compete in front of their families and compete for their school.”
Fornelli wants to see the baseball team build their relationships with each other.
“I think the biggest thing is just getting out and becoming a family and getting them to compete with each other,” Fornelli said. “There is a lot of newness to this team, not only myself as a coach, but our team has a lot of new players (and) a lot of new faces. The faster we can get out, prove ourselves, and play the right way… the faster we are going to have the chance to win baseball games.”
The softball team’s first game is on Friday, Feb. 1 against Texas A&M-Kingsville in Conroe, Texas where they will be competing in the Arkansas Tech Winter Invite.
The baseball team’s first game is also on Friday, Feb. 1 against Oklahoma Christian in Edmond, Oklahoma.
Fornelli hopes to see some home support for the Gorillas after the first three matches, when they will play at home for three consecutive weeks.
“… We play at home the next three weeks after this, so we would love to see people at the park,” Fornelli said.