FAMU’s Lady Rattlers softball team is on a mission this season. The determined women aspire to bring excitement to the softball program by winning a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championship.
The team has had a rough start to their season, facing some of the elite teams in the country, but realize the only thing that matters is how they finish in the post season.
“The girls have stood strong and held their own this season,” said Veronica Wiggins, head coach of the softball team. “I am very proud of them.”
The women have played teams such as Nebraska, Notre Dame, Penn State and cross-town rival Florida State, most of whom are ranked in the top 50.
“The season has gone well and we have upset many big schools,” said Raven Rushton, a senior third baseman from Sacramento, Calif. “We are playing together and our chemistry is great.”
The Lady Rattlers went on a four game winning streak twice during the season, showing some very bright moments. The team looks to finish their last eight regular season games strong and go into the MEAC Tournament beginning April 29 and ending May 2 in Orlando.
The ladies said they have their mind set on a conference championship and the only thing standing in their way is Bethune-Cookman College, the four-time defending champions.
“B-CC has won the championship four years in a row, but this year is going to be different- we owe them,” said Kenycia Byrd, a sophomore first baseman from Tallahassee.
The Lady Rattlers’ 8-2 conference record has them tied for first place with B-CC. Team members said they are pleased with their overall performance, but knows they have to play even better during the tournament. The women said they can play at a higher level if they can get a few wrinkles ironed out.
“There is always room for improvement,” Wiggins said. “We need to fine-tune a few things and work on executing better.”
If the Lady Rattlers win the MEAC Championship, they will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, pitting them against the same top-ranked teams that defeated them during the season.
Ashley Mitchell, a junior outfielder from Titusville said the Lady Rattlers have a good chance of winning the championship.
“I think we can upset anybody when we are playing our game, because we have more heart than the other teams.”