Eastern Kentucky Softball completed their fall season on Sunday, Oct. 7 at Gertrude Hood Field in Richmond. Playing all eight fall games at home, the Colonels went 7-1, beating elite competitors such as the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky.
This could be the theme for the spring season. The Colonels started this fall with a 5-0 loss against Louisville on Sept. 15, but quickly recovered, beating the Cardinals 5-4 in the second game of the double header.
EKU then continued on to a seven-game winning streak, beating UK 15-8, University of the Cumberlands 10-0, both games of a double header against Lakeland Junior College 6-0 in both games and both games of a double header against Georgetown College 6-1, 6-0.
Senior transfer and second baseman/outfielder, Destinee Lizzmore said she thinks the fall season went great.
“We lost two major players... so we had to try to find the lineup again and how the defense works, but we all joked about coming together. Especially that Kentucky game. I don’t know what it was about that game but our chemistry was just there from the start of it,” Lizzmore said. She said that she knew they would be really good from that moment.
Lizzmore said that the team still has a lot to improve on, but she’s confident that the spring season will mirror the fall season.
“[In the fall], you’re just trying to get the rust off and get that competitiveness going because in the fall you just kind of have this idea of ‘does it really mean anything?’ Your record won’t be affected. But we all realize that in the fall, this is where we get better and this is going to make the spring what it’s going to be,” said Lizzmore.
When asked why she transferred in her junior year to Eastern Kentucky, Lizzmore said it was the easiest decision she’s ever made.
“I had other offers. I stepped on the campus and I just had that feeling… I could see myself here. Like I wasn’t just going to be an athlete, but I was going to be a person.” She said that Coach Jane Worthington helped seal the deal.
Long time fan and EKU alum, Tom Pinkley, has been watching the Colonels since 2000. He spoke highly of Coach Worthington and her coaching style.
“She’s fantastic,” Pinkley said. “She’s built a winning program… She literally built the program from the ground up.”
He said that the current team has more talent than the team’s that he has watched in previous seasons.
“I started watching in the year 2000, and in 2002 we won our first OVC championship. We’ve had some good teams all through the history of the program… but we’ve also had our down years like any other program,” Pinkley said. Pinkley said he’s confident that the Colonels will produce more runs this spring season, propelling them past their competitors.
Pinkley said there are many good qualities about this year’s team. “We’re hitting, we’re pitching well, we’re playing good defense. The only real let down that we’ve had [this fall] was the first game of the Louisville double header when everyone who was here that watched last season could tell that this was not the way we play,” Pinkley said.
Pinkley is optimistic for the spring season. “I’m hoping this is a mirror of what the spring will be. If we can keep this up, we’ll be really really good,” Pinkley said. He also said that because the team is averaging such high run numbers this fall, if they continue this in the spring, they will beat anyone they come across.
Pinkley was asked “why softball,” and he stated, “Why not? It’s underrated, underappreciated, and simply an amazing game.” With this type of continued support and the amount of runs produced per game, the Colonels could be looking at another run for the OVC championship this spring.