(Courtesy: UMD Softball Twitter)
(Courtesy: UMD Softball Twitter)
(Courtesy: UMD Softball Twitter)

By HANNAH GENIG, Staff Reporter

Hard work, determination and improvement are just some of the aspects of the University of Michigan-Dearborn softball team that will make them the team to fear this season.

Things are looking up for the Wolverines, as they finished with a 19-28 record last year, nearly tripling the amount of games won compared to past seasons. With the help of a strong coaching staff and an array of talented athletes, the outlook of this season is better than ever.

In his second season as head coach, Scott Combs is not only hoping for the best, he’s expecting it.

“We plan to win the league and go to nationals. That’s our goal and has been since last year,” Combs said.

Combs believes that seniors Kayla Goodwin, Brittany Webb, Jessie Thueme, and Lindsay Taylor will provide great team leadership and make big contributions to the team’s success, because in addition to being great players, “they know the league and the system and are at the end of their careers with hopes to go out with a bang.”

Junior Valerie Bertani had the highest batting average of the team for the 2014 season and will remain a strong asset for the Wolverines, as well as junior Samantha Zarins with her high fielding percentage of .988.

With a unique team this year, consisting of a mixture of ages and experiences, Combs is expecting a different team dynamic. This new dynamic will produce more competition for playing time, more depth and hopefully more wins.

As the start of the season is just around the corner, the Wolverines are preparing to see good competition in teams like Madonna and Davenport, who generally rank first and second in the league every year. However, this year, Combs plans to “jump up and surprise them.”

The Wolverines head to Florida on Feb. 24 to begin their spring training and kick off the start of their season.