Lakers softball throws a pitch toward season success
Published: Monday, September 24, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 24, 2012 19:09
Roosevelt University Lakers athletics has had a softball team in development since August 2009.
With the team’s first official games beginning in March, the 2012-13 school year marks the commencement of the team’s existence and action.
“This fall has been fun just to see the first team come together,” said head coach Amanda Scott. “We are working hard every day. We play in a very competitive league, and I know our team will be ready for the challenge. We will be playing a 50-game schedule this spring.”
The team recently competed its third week of practice and will practice for an additional two weeks before taking a break.
Scott said the recruiting process was difficult, considering the program’s new status.
“I’m excited to have the team on campus now because they will become a huge part of the process for future Roosevelt softball players,” she said.
Scott has coached for 10 years, with experience at Michigan State, the University of Iowa and the University of Illinois at Chicago.
“I was looking to make a change professionally for the past couple of years,” she said. “I love the city but was also looking to get out of Division I athletics. I was completely intrigued by the idea of starting a program from the ground up, and I knew it would be a unique challenge. It’s rare to get an opportunity like this in any profession.”
Scott has played softball since age 8 and participated in Division I softball at Fresno State in California from 1997-2000. Her team went to the Women’s College World Series for three years and won the National Championship in 1998. She was an alternate on the 2000 Olympic team and played professionally for the New York Juggernauts.
“I think we are so lucky to have someone like Scott as our coach,” freshman Amanda Ferguson said. “She has so much experience and knows everything about the game. She works so hard to help us succeed.”
“[Scott is] awesome,” Freshman Zoe Harmon said. “She’s very knowledgeable and very in tune with us. She’s really into her job, and she makes sure that we’re having fun and the best time we can while helping us improve to be best players we can.”
The team is in the process of ordering equipment, including everything from balls to uniforms. Scott said she is anxious to begin the season.
“It’s crazy,” she said. “Every day is a new adventure....We have a special group of student athletes, and they are literally making Roosevelt softball history. How cool is that?”
“I love being part of a new team,” Ferguson said. “Everything is so new to everyone, and it’s fun because you never know what is going to happen next, and the whole team is going through it together.”
“It’s exciting,” Harmon said. “We’re all meeting each other for the first time. We’re all freshmen. It’s great getting to know each other. We’ve been becoming pretty good friends through it all.”
Freshmen Priscilla Rios and Taylor Edwards said their goals this season are to achieve their personal bests and to improve the team.
“Softball, to me, is everything,” Rios said. “It’s what molded me as a person, and it’s taught me to always work hard to achieve whatever you want.”
“Softball means so much to me,” Edwards said. “It’s my everything. I’ve grown up around it, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
The players said that practices are going well, they are encouraging each other and they are trying to get to know how each other plays.
“The coaches have said we’re way better than we were the first day,” Harmon said. “It’s rewarding.”
“After we leave practice, we want to be able to say that we worked hard and improved some part of our game,” Ferguson said. “We are also focusing on getting to know one another on the field so we can play as if we’ve been together for years.”
The home field of Lakers softball is at the Chicago Bandits stadium in Rosemont, IL.
Scott called it the best softball-playing facility in the Chicagoland area.
“Roosevelt’s decision to establish an athletic department created opportunities for 200-plus students to follow their dreams of playing college sports,” she said. “That’s incredible to me. It’s such a big task and a huge commitment, but I also see an ignited sense of school spirit and pride.”