There are several fresh faces and 19 players in all, on this year’s Crusaders softball team. “We are 19 strong and all can contribute,” said Head Coach Jan McDonald. “We are two deep in every position, meaning if I substitute out a ‘starter,’ we won’t tell much difference – which is great for our team.”
Coach McDonald recently reclaimed the title of softball Head Coach after a seven year sabbatical, while she focused on her full time position as North Greenville’s Athletic Director. Coach McDonald had coached the softball team the eighteen years prior to her promotion as A.D. However, she will only be temporarily filling in as coach till a full time replacement can be found.
McDonald relies a great deal on her three seniors: catcher Lindsey Eargle, outfield Bridget Watson, and utility player Ashley Warlick. “All three have shown great leadership,” said MacDonald. “They are the strength of our team and I count on them heavily on and off the field.”
Coaching again “has been great for me,” said McDonald. “The ladies are super! Most of them know God, are good students and strong players. I believe it is their hope and mine, that when we play we’ll give Him glory.”
The Crusaders open on Feb. 13 with Carson Newman, a highly competitive NCAA Division II team. “Carson Newman is traditionally very good and will be an immediate test for our team.” McDonald said.
However, tough competition does not scare McDonald or her players, nor does it thwart their tenacity – everyone they play they expect to beat. “I want my players to believe every time we step on the field we expect to win.” McDonald realizes that not every game will realistically end with a victory. Nonetheless, McDonald resolves, they will compete, and when they walk off the field know they did all they possibly could.