New coach brings new hope for Mahomet-Seymour softball
After a 7-22 season last year and the retirement of longtime head coach Mark Jones, the Mahomet-Seymour softball team was ready for a new start.
They found one with the promotion of former assistant Lisa Ayers.
Ayers has the Bulldogs off to a fast start in her first year as head coach -- a pleasant development with all of the change in the program.
"My expectations are for the team to show strides of improvement throughout the season, while embracing and adjusting to the new culture that the coaching staff and I are trying to instill," Ayers told the Chambana Sun. "Our goals are for the team: To have fun while they play as a team, challenge each other and oneself to strive for excellence, reach their full potential as both an athlete and a person, and represent Mahomet-Seymour with class."
In addition to those loftier goals, Ayers also has some very specific things she wants to accomplish on the softball diamond, with getting better on the base paths at the top of the list.
"We are putting a lot of emphasis on aggressive base running," she said. "We want the girls to understand the game in the sense that will help place them in better positions to help us score. In many situations, it is too late if the players wait for the coach to tell them what to do. It has to become an instinct."
Ayers has a trio of players she's been depending on for team leadership.
Senior shortstop Mollie Spoerer, the team's number three hitter, is leading the squad in batting average and RBIs.
"We depend on her both offensively and defensively," Ayers said. "Her knowledge of the game is a big contribution to what she brings to the game."
Sophomore Allison Nofziger is also a key component to the team's offense. She's the team's leadoff hitter and tops in on-base percentage and stolen bases – she hasn’t been thrown out this season.
"She is a very vocal leader both on the field and in the dugout," Ayers said.
And on the pitcher's mound, M-S looks primarily to senior pitcher Morgan Cheek.
"We depend on her consistency and her composure on defense," Ayers said.
The team is proving itself on the field and already approaching last season's win total.
"The girls are showing improvement and growth as the season has progressed," she said. "As a coach, you cannot ask for much more."
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