FAMU softball team starts season on Friday at the Tiny Laster MEAC/SWAC Softball Tournament

A competitive schedule and strong leadership gives the Florida A&M softball team plenty of reason to look forward to the 2010 season.The Florida A&M Rattlers will open up the season on Friday, Feb. 12, at the Tiny Laster MEAC/SWAC Softball Tournament in Conyers, Ga. During the three-day event, the Rattlers will have games against Mississippi Valley, Alcorn State, Tennessee State and Alabama State University. Feb. 17 the defending Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champions will play their home opener in Tallahassee against Florida State University.The Florida A&M softball team had a successful 2009 season where they finished undefeated in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference southern division with a record of (12-0) and an overall record of (30-32) ending the season with a .500 winning record at home of (13-7). The Rattlers ended the season winning the final 23 of the last 32 games after ending the season with a loss to Lehigh (Pa.) University at the Gainesville Regional of the NCAA Championships. Florida A&M ended the season on a high note defeating Bethune-Cookman University to win the 2009 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championship, their third in five years and ninth in school history.Senior pitcher and co-captain Amanda Reyes who was named the 2009 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year believes the 2010 Florida A&M Rattlers have what it takes to have the same type of success the team witnessed the previous year.“Right now we are pretty well equipped as a team and team unity is a big thing this team has,” Reyes said. “There is a positive feeling coming into this season, we are excited and energetic and we have a group of young women who bring new experience that uplifts the whole team.”Reyes feels that staying healthy and the team’s ability to remain consistent will allow Florida A&M to play the successful brand of softball that the team is capable of producing.“On our time off we have to take that seriously so that we can get treatment and we stay healthy, we also have to take it one game at a time and be able to learn from our past mistakes,” said Reyes. “We have to take our strengths that we have from previous games and build on them so we can be consistent.”Florida A&M Assistant coach Lori Goodart said the team will have to be aggressive responding on both defense and offense throughout the games for Florida A&M to have constant success.“Coming into the season the pitching needs to be consistent and I think this year having better hitters in the line up contributes.” said Goodart. “The pitching is going to be there, but it is the defense and the offense that has to help us out.”