The stride toward what the San Diego State women’s softball team hopes will be a winning season begins today, when the Aztecs compete against the Texas Tech Red Raiders in their first of six games at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz.
SDSU, looking to build on last season’s 34-21 record, will be making its 2012 debut on the road for the fifth-consecutive year.
“I’m expecting that we come away with a learning experience. The results I’m not necessarily concerned about,” SDSU head coach Kathy Van Wyk said.
The Aztecs’ last matchup against Texas Tech was at the 2010 Kajijawa Classic, when they were defeated 6-1 on the final day of tournament play. Defensive errors and passed balls factored into the Raiders’ win. This was a particularly tough loss for SDSU, as it ended its five-game winning streak.
In anticipation for their season opener, the Aztecs will need to put on a better defensive performance to avoid the same mistakes committed during their last contest against Texas Tech.
With seven seniors departing from last year’s squad, Van Wyk insists this won’t be a rebuilding season. In fact, a recent preseason poll voted on by the league’s five head coaches projected SDSU to win the 2012 Mountain West regular-season title.
“I think our current seniors are looking to go out strong,” Van Wyk said. “We have a great combination of returners and I think the team is in great shape.”
SDSU’s top returners this season include two-time All-Mountain West senior pitcher Bailey Micetich, two-time Louisville Slugger / NFCA All-West Region selection senior first baseman Justeen Maeva and last year’s MW Freshman of the Year sophomore center fielder Hayley Miles.
As the Aztecs prepare for Thursday’s season debut, it will surely be an intense game, but the team will prepare like it does for every other game.
“We’re going into every game the same way. We don’t care who they are. We need to go into each game just playing our game,” Van Wyk said.