Softball team ready for spring break trip

Cory Geer, Contributing Writer

First-year softball  head coach Nikki Cognigni said she has high hopes for what the second-year program can accomplish after just one season.

“It is exciting to be able to coach such a new program; the team is young, so we have time to grow together,” she said.

“I am looking forward to building tradition here.”

Last year, the Lady Cats went 7-29 overall, but the ability to practice at the Iron Horse baseball/softball facility in Windber has arguably helped the team on and off the field.

Not only does the opportunity offer the team a state-of-the-art indoor practice facility where they can practice fielding groundballs on artificial turf, but it has also helped with team bonding.

“Playing for a newer team it takes a lot of patience, as well as drive, because we aren’t held to high expectations by other teams in our conference,” sophomore third basemen/outfielder Montana Mang said.

Freshman outfielder Ashley Shor said that having a carpool every day to practice has really helped with team chemistry.

“It has brought the team closer together,” she said.

Freshman utility player Courtney McMahan said they have something to prove this season.

She is excited that, as a team, they could set the standard for years to come.

The Lady Cats open the season in Clermont, Florida, where they play nine games in seven days during spring break.

The team will face teams such as Edinboro University, Upper Iowa University and Cedarville (Ohio) University.

The team is excited for this opportunity, according to Cognigni.

“The team is definitely looking forward to our spring break trip; we have a countdown each day,” she said.

“Each practice is preparing us more and getting us game ready for Florida.”

The Lady Cats were picked to finish sixth in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Central Division when this years preseason poll was released Feb. 4.

After competing in two divisions for the past two seasons, the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference will once again go back to its three-division format.

The league will be seperated into west, east and central divisions.