The Lady Rattler Softball team will have a chance to improve its away-game performance right away, as it will play its season-opener on the road.
The Florida A&M softball team will begin the 2012 season during the Dot Richardson Tournament against the University of Tennessee Chattanooga Friday in Clermont, Fla.
The Lady Rattlers finished last season with a .500 record, going 26-26 and losing their last two games in a row to finish the season. The team dominated during home stands with a 13-3 record but went 13-23 on the road.
FAMU finished 8-4 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
Five seniors and seven juniors will return from last year’s squad. The upper classmen said they are ready to help the underclassman adjust to the collegiate level.
“The transition the freshmen learned is that the tempo changes” said returning second baseman senior Tera Gainor. “They’re coming along and their athletic. They’re just so excited about the game and ready to play, they remind me of myself. We are looking forward to come out winning, we have a lot of energy and talent and we can win.”
The Lady Rattlers look poised and primed to make a run for a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championship title this year after dropping their final two games of last season and eliminating themselves from championship contention.
Head coach Veronica Wiggins, who is entering her 21st season with FAMU, and assistant coach Lori Goodhart said the team is ready to make an immediate impact.
“We returned so many starters, but we have several newcomers that we may play and we will keep our consistency.” Goodhart said. “The seniors done a great job taking the underclassmen under their wings and being supportive, it takes a lot being a student athlete and the seniors are making it easier for them.”
Whitney Robinson, a returning pitcher, said FAMU would be a dominant team this season. She also said the team is anxious to play this year because it has something to prove.
“I look forward having more wins.” Robinson said. “I feel that were the team to beat in the MEAC this year. The attitude of the players, the determination and focus are all up from last year. I’ am excited and nervous to pitch Friday but that happens; I am only human.”