COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Fresh off of a fifth-ever finish at the NCAA Super Regional level, the Texas A&M softball team is ready to start team practice Wednesday in preparation for the 2014 season.
The team returned to campus Monday, and spent two days working with The Program to develop stronger leadership, and set the foundation in overall team building. Official team practice begins tomorrow.
The Aggies will practice from 3:15-6:15 p.m. and will work on getting timing and rhythm back in hitting while working on team defense. Practices this spring will be open to the media.
“We are looking forward to getting back on the field,” Head Coach Jo Evans said. “We have not been able to practice or play as a team since the first week of December, so our players are anxious to get started. With only three weeks until our first game, we will have to hit the ground running to be ready for our season opener. We have a talented group, with a great senior class, so we will look to the upperclassmen to set the tone for practices and scrimmages. It’s an exciting time of year for our ball club.”
In its second season in the Southeastern Conference, Texas A&M welcomes six newcomers to the 2014 squad with addition of sophomore transfer Katie Marks (Katy), who spent her rookie year at South Carolina, and fresh¬men Abby Donnell (Wichita Falls), Reagan Boenker (Bryan), April Ryan (Keller), Suzanne White (Richmond) and Celena Massey (Bulverde).
Returning to action are five sophomores, four juniors, including redshirt transfer Rachel Fox, and an invaluable eight-player senior class. Fox was able to practice with the team during the 2013 season but had to sit out of competition per NCAA rules after transferring from Texas. The right-handed pitcher will see her first action in the maroon and white this season.
Sophomore Cali Lanphear – who led the Aggies’ home run game in 2013 – was named an NFCA All-American and Freshman All-SEC, and senior Nicole Morgan joined her on the NFCA All-South Region first team. Senior Emily Albus earned Hammer Strength All-American Athlete honors at the end of last season, and senior Allison Garrett represented the team on the SEC Softball Community Service Team.
The 16th-seeded Texas A&M softball team’s (42-18) sea¬son came to an end in the NCAA Super Regional against No. 1 seed and eventual national champion Oklahoma. 2013 marked the fifth Super Regional appearance for the Aggies and the 24th trip to the NCAA Tournament, includ¬ing 12 straight under Evans.
Texas A&M also picked up its eighth 40-win season with Evans at the helm in 2013, and began the season with the program’s best start at 19-0. The Aggies hit a national best 101 home runs on the year, including the 100th and 101st in the final game of the College Station Regional to run-rule Baylor and advance to Super Region. Then-freshman Lanphear was named to the NFCA All-America second team after hitting 21 home runs in her rookie campaign.
The Aggies’ 2014 season begins on Feb. 7 when the team travels to Santa Barbara, Calif., for the UCSB Gaucho Classic I. To learn more about Texas A&M softball, log on to AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieSoftball on Twitter.