Aja Rayburn | Orange Media Network
The Oregon State University Softball team, who currently has an overall record of 12-4, begins their Pac-12 season on March 15 against Arizona State in Tempe AZ.
Last year, the softball team had a conference record of 9-14 and an overall record of 30-28.
According to OSU Head Coach, Laura Berg, the team’s success so far in their season can be attributed to the players’ hard work and their drive to win.
“They have a chip on their shoulder and they really want to show the world what they can do,” Berg said. “They’re very talented and they have a lot to prove.”
Senior outfielder Shelby Weeks has been on the team for four years and said accountability has played a big role in the Beavers’ success so far. According to Weeks, the team set three core values they were going to focus their season around at the beginning of the year. These values were respect, unity and accountability.
“For the most part, we have all really stuck by those rules and those values. Accountability is one major factor that we haven’t had in the past,” Weeks said.
Weeks added that, in the past, when something would go wrong, it wasn’t addressed properly or in the correct way.
“I think this year, addressing the small things in the beginning is really going to help us in the end,” Weeks said.
Outfielder, Jessica Garcia, a senior who has been on the team for four years, said one difference from last season is the diversity in talent and support from the bench.
“I think, compared to this year, and last year we have a lot of girls on the team with different talents,” Garcia said. “We have depth on the bench which is something that we’ve never really had in the past, so I think that’s something that drives us to have good success.”
According to Berg, new forms of technology have changed the way the team practices and gives the athletes a better understanding of what they need to improve on. New programs such as Blast, a device placed on the players bat to gather swing speed and launch angle, and Rapsodo, a video device that allows the athletes to watch their hit, has helped the teams performance.
“One difference between last year and this year is we are using a lot more technology,” Berg said. “Athletes are very visual, so if they see the numbers they can acknowledge what I’m trying to tell them.”
Both Weeks and Garcia said that as a team, their goal is to make it to the College World Series.
“I really want to see our team surprise everyone in our conference by beating teams that we don’t normally beat or are not expected to beat,” Weeks said.
OSU Softball will have their first home game series of the season against the Arizona Wildcats on March 22-24, at 5 p.m. at the OSU Softball Complex.