WSU softball has had a strong record of success, ranking first or second in the GLIAC, four of the past five years. The squad hopes to continue that success and make a run at being national champions.
The 2018 season features a unique double round-robin schedule, with nine teams chasing the GLIAC title. This means a few more home games for Wayne State, and a better shot a bid for the NCAA Championships, according to head coach Gary Bryce.
"I don’t think this format will change how we approach the season," said Bryce. "This allows us to have more in region games which is the main basis for receiving a bid to the NCAA Championship."
This season's lineup features six newcomers and the Warriors are coping with the loss of two-time GLIAC player of the year and starting pitcher, Lyndsey Butler, who graduated in May 2017.
"We have three really competent pitchers that I think can do the job," said Bryce.
Senior utility player Hailey Lazarek said she has high hopes for the six newcomers, adding that joining a successful program can be difficult.
"We have a great group of talented freshmen that are going to be key to our success this season," she said. "So I think one of the most important things is to help them get on board with the goals and values of the team."
Lazarek and Bryce both share the same goal for the season, a national championship.
"We need to take it one game at a time, but I know that we are capable of doing great things this season as a team," said Lazarek. "The goal is always to win the league then go in strong to the post-season, ultimately making it to the World Series and winning a national championship."
Bryce echoed the same sentiment.
"We hope to compete at the top level," he said. "Our goals are always to win the league (GLIAC), and win the last game of the year, this would mean we would be the National Champs."
The key to success this season is everyone playing "their role to the best of their ability," Bryce said. Lazarek agrees with that sentiment, and is focusing on this season.
"I'm really excited to see what this season has in store with all the talent we have on our team," she said. "We had a successful season last year but this is a new season, so I think going in with that determined mindset to get where we were and beyond is key to staying on top."
Warriors softball is on the road until Mar. 21 when they return home to face Walsh College in a double header at 3:30 p.m.