From Williams Baptist College
The Lady Eagles from Williams Baptist College will enter the 2013 season ranked 14th in the NAIA preseason softball poll. They are a team which has won at least a share of the last three American Midwest Conference championships, as well as the 2012 AMC Tournament. The squad returns two All-Americans and a plethora of talent up and down the roster.
Therefore, it should be no surprise that the Lady Eagles have set difficult and rewarding goals heading into the 2013 season. However, the revelation is in exactly what those goals are.
"Our main goals are our relationships, putting others first. The first goal is to glorify God in all we say and do. Secondly, take care of business academically, and finally try to get better with each day," Head Coach Eric Newell said. "Practice hard every day, play hard every game."
The team's goals do not center on repeating as conference champions, making their second straight national tournament appearance, or even winning the national championship. However, Newell believes if the team succeeds with the three goals, they will be successful no matter what the record indicates and it will allow the rest to take care of itself.
"Do we want to defend our conference championship and go back to the national tournament? Absolutely! But it definitely is not our most important goal," added Newell.
Newell is entering his seventh season as the head coach and he holds a record of 186-90.
Williams' success has been built through strong leadership throughout the team, according to the coach. The upperclassmen ensure newcomers understand exactly what is expected of them when they arrive in the fall.
"The leaders have done a nice job of setting the tone both in practice and offseason workouts," said Newell.
All-Americans Felicia Woodard and Karisa Hendrix, as well as sophomore pitcher Shelby Anderson highlight a roster full of accolades. All three were honored by the AMC in 2012, Woodard as Co-Player of the Year, Hendrix as Co-Pitcher of the Year, and Anderson as Freshman of the Year.
WBC will open the season on the road at Blue Mountain, Miss., on Saturday, February 9. They will play a doubleheader against Blue Mountain College beginning at noon. The home debut will be on Monday, February 18, against the same Blue Mountain squad. That doubleheader will begin at 1 p.m., at the WBC Softball Field.
Newell summed up the team, "This group of girls, although young, is very athletic and extremely gifted. Every player on our team is excited about the upcoming season."