By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information Coordinator
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech softball team’s fall campaign is right around the corner, as the Golden Eagles prepare to jump into a schedule that promises to prepare them for the upcoming 2014 season. Highlighted by three home affairs and a trip to the defending College World Series runner-up in the University of Tennessee, Tech has plenty to look forward to in this year’s fall slate.
“I think we have a wide variety of different talent levels on the schedule, from some really good NAIA schools right on up to UT who was in the championship of the World Series last year,” head coach Bonnie Bynum said on this fall’s outlook. “I’m excited about who we are playing and, more importantly, getting our players some experience, especially the new ones.”
TTU welcomes eight newcomers, all of them freshmen, who are expected to make their debut on Saturday, Sept. 21 for a doubleheader against Georgia Highlands College at Tech Softball Field. Of the eight, Bynum anticipates catcher Alyssa Richards and pitcher Danielle Liberatore to make their presence known early.
“Alyssa is probably going to be a pretty big impact player, and we are looking for pretty big things from her,” Bynum claimed. “Danielle is a lefty that I think is going to contribute a lot. Overall, I’m definitely excited for really all the freshmen, but I think those two are going to make a pretty big impact right away.”
After the initial twinbill in late September, Tech will set their sights on a busy week in early October. Thursday, Oct. 3 marks the team’s next home tilt, a matchup with Motlow State, before the Golden Eagles take aim at four games in two days on Saturday, Oct. 5 and Sunday, Oct. 6.
TTU travels to Centre College in Danville, Ky. for the quartet of games.
Clashes with Campbellsville University and Lindsey Wilson College are ones to keep an eye on in terms of the good NAIA teams Bynum referred to earlier, as Campbellsville compiled a 43-17 2012 record, and Lindsey Wilson ended last year 50-10 with a spot in the NAIA National Championship.
“I think it will be good for our girls to get to play other teams,” Bynum said. “It will give us a chance to see how our team gels as a unit. It will challenge us in ways that we can’t get out of just practicing.”
The fall schedule wraps up on Friday, Oct. 11, with a trip to Knoxville to play the defending College World Series runner-up in UT.
“Of course they are one of the best teams in the country, but we don’t really worry about who we are playing, we just worry about what we want to do,” Bynum said on playing a school of that caliber. “It’s really about getting our new players’ feet wet and getting the first jitters out of the way so come spring they have played in a few games in college and know what it’s about. For our older players, it’s making sure that they are running everything smoothly and are getting our techniques and our system that we want to implement and carry into the spring.”
Admission to all home games is free.
TENNESSEE TECH FALL SOFTBALL SCHEDULE
Saturday, Sept. 22 (HOME)
2 p.m. Tech vs. Georgia Highlands College (DH)
Thursday, Oct. 3 (HOME)
6 p.m. Tech vs. Motlow State
Saturday, Oct. 5 (at Centre College –
4:30 p.m. Tech vs. Campbellsville University
6:30 p.m. Tech vs. Centre College
Sunday, Oct. 6 (at Centre College –
11:30 a.m. Tech vs. Spalding University
1:30 p.m. Tech vs. Lindsey Wilson College
Friday, Oct. 11 (at University of Tennessee
6:30 p.m. (CDT) Tech vs. University of Tennessee