Softball team showing improvement

The FAMU women’s softball team has done it all. They have slid from base to base and have been busy running around the diamond. Halfway through their regular season, the Lady Rattlers said they still have a lot to prove.

“We are doing really good,” said infielder Alicia Strafford, 21, a biology student from Lakeland. “This year we have new coaches and they are helping us get better.”

Strafford said the team had a rocky start coming into the season and did not win many games. Some of the players said they have worked really hard on and off the field getting stronger for the games.

Danielle Brown, a student coach, said there is room for improvement.

“We can always do better,” said Brown, 24, a Jacksonville native. “Most of all we need to work on our hits.” Brown also played for the Lady Rattlers and set the career strikeout mark.

Brown also said she feels the team is better than last year. The Lady Ratters won their last game against Jackson State 4-3 and 2-1.

This year, the softball team has two new coaches, Brown and Lori Goodart. The Lady Rattlers said they are in good hands.

“They are good coaches and every day they present a new challenge for us,” Strafford said.  Brown said her strongest players going into this season are sophomore Melissa Oliphant and Joyce Harold, juniors Rihanna Green, Tiffany Chan and Alyssa Watts.

Chan made the winning home run to lift the Lady Rattlers over Jackson State on Tuesday.  Chan also finished with two hits and a home run, while her teammates Green and Nikki Terryn both finished with one hit a piece.

In game two of the double header, the Lady Rattlers finished with six hits. Oliphant scored the final run for FAMU in the eighth inning. Brown said she can see improvement. She also said the ladies went out and executed the game pretty well.

“We are improving every day on offense and defense,” she said. “That’s what set us apart from the other team.”

Some of the softball players agree they are getting better with every game. They said they have what it takes to make it to the MEAC finals.

“Right now our main goal is to win the MEAC finals,” Strafford said. 

So far the softball team is number two in the MEAC standings which is just below North Carolina A&T. Last year the Lady Rattlers came in sixth place in the MEAC Finals. 

“I feel we have a strong team and we can do better than last year,” Brown said. “We are mentally getting our minds ready so we can do better and hopefully pull out another win.”

The Lady Rattlers will take on Savannah State on the softball field March 22 at 1:00 p.m.