The San Diego State softball team finished last season with a decent 34-16 overall record, but it failed to follow through in big games and finish strong — or “finish it,” as team members say.
This year, SDSU is determined to change that.
The Aztecs have made it their goal to win big games, and they won’t have to wait long to get the opportunity to achieve it.
SDSU will begin pre-conference play in the Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament this weekend in Los Angeles, and will face North Dakota State, Utah State, Central Florida and the defending National Champion, UCLA.
Last year, the Aztecs lost 4-3 to the Bruins in their second-to-last game of the season and look to avenge their loss on Sunday when they take on the Bruins at 2 p.m. in their first “big game” of the year.
“Last year we fell short of our goals, but at the same time we accomplished some moral victories,” assistant coach Stacey Nuveman said. “Our team now believes that we can and should beat teams like UCLA. We have to perform in those big games and follow through.”
After long hours of practice and preparation, the softball team is finally ready to face opponents.
“I’m excited to get out there and play in the tournament and to see what happens,” sophomore pitcher Kamerin May said. “I know we have the talent. Everyone is really good this year. We are prepared.”
The Aztecs have their team goals in mind, but have also decided to focus on each game as it presents itself. This year, the team hopes to perform well in pre-conference play, win the Mountain West Conference title for the first time since 2008, get past the first round of NCAA Regionals and to make an appearance in the World Series.
“We’re shooting for the best,” May said.
SDSU hopes the change in mentality will make an enormous difference this season. In previous years, the team has had the physical strength, but it has not been able to balance that with its mental strength and belief. Confidence will prove to be key this year.
“Physically we can compete with anybody,” Nuveman said. “We’ve got the offense, we’ve got the pitching, we’ve got the defense and all the key elements to the game of softball, but it has to be deep down inside your heart that you belong in the top. We really do believe and that’s going to make all the difference this season.”