The Lamar Community College Softball team began its season on February 10 in Midland, Texas. The Lopes played seven games in the Midland Classic for their opening debut.
With the start of the new season, the Runnin' Lopes introduced an almost completely new team including a transfer sophomore and thirteen freshmen from Colorado, Utah, Montana, and Hawaii. The new squad hopes to improve upon last years 18-31 overall record with a strong pitching staff and hard-hitting lineup.
Larissa Royer (Berthoud, CO), Lauren Reed (Fruita, CO), Delaney Ramos (Pueblo, CO), Keilee Womack (Delta, CO) and Kayla Whitley (Waipahu, HI) make up the new LCC pitching staff, each contributing their own strengths and style in the circle.
"We are excited to have depth in the bullpen and plan on utilizing all five pitchers to carry us through the season," said head coach Kristen Silva. "It will give us the ability to keep our opponents off balance and improve our overall success as a team."
Also important to the Runnin' Lopes success this spring are three returning sophomores: Mariah Lopez (Milliken, CO), Desiree Ramirez (Brighton, CO) and Kelsee Bushell (Plain City, UT). Last season, Lopez led the team with a batting average of .455 and is expected to play a critical role in the LCC lineup. Both Ramirez and Bushell are strong position players who will also contribute offensively and defensively, Bushell at shortstop and Ramirez in right field.
"These players provide leadership and strength to our team. They understand what we are trying to do as a program and are working hard to have a winning season," stated Coach Silva. "We are excited to see what the 2016-2017 season brings."
The new Lopes team played their first games in Midland, Texas, defeating Clarendon College by a score of 5-4 before falling to four other teams including national ranked Howard College, Midland College and Navarro College. The team finished the weekend with a 1-5 record.
The Lopes played well against some tough opponents and were led offensively by sophomore Desiree Ramirez (.500) and freshman Samantha McDonald (.450). Also contributing to LCC's bats were freshmen Makayla Whitley, Shaelyn Bachini and Caitlin McCarthy, all hitting their first collegiate homerun the first weekend out.