Bearcat Softball Opens Season At Husky Stadium

SALEM, OR- Its been said by much of the Willamette community, that if you listen closely, you can hear a sound, not one of the bushes swaying in the wind or the train calling out its arrival, but one of bats slicing through a ball, bodies colliding with the ground, and a constant chatter coming from somewhere behind the train station.

That sound is that of the Willamette softball team. For weeks on end, the Bearcats have endured hours of intense practices on the field and in the gym, as well as late nights under the lights of the football stadium.

The Bearcats open regular season play this weekend with a pair of games on Saturday at the University of Washington. Bearcat fans will get the first look at the team the following weekend when the Bearcats host the Capital Cup tournament featuring four Northwest Conference teams and four other schools.

Coach Damian Williams returns for his seventh season as the Bearcats’ head coach. Williams says, “The team has been working hard all season, conditioning throughout the winter to prepare themselves for season. It’s exciting to see how their hard work has paid off. We’re able to move forward and not waste time playing catch-up.”

The Bearcats are determined to improve on last year’s record of 17-23 overall and 13-16 NWC. Williams adds, “With the group we have this year, and the additions we have to the coaching staff, it won’t be hard to play competitively.”

Former Willamette softball player Marcie Hagen (’04) and Casey Leiter, recent graduate and softball player from University of Maryland (’04), “…are a great addition to the staff. The team as well as myself, respect their ideas and their drive for the game,” commented Williams.

The team returns seniors: Lindsey Braun (1st base), April Greer (utility), Tara Jackson (outfield), Amanda Lindquist (1st base), and Meredith Runyan (catcher).

Juniors: Kim Boscacci (2nd base, outfield), Brittany Dearing (pitcher), and transfer from Albertson College, Idaho, Laura Milne (pitcher).

Sophomores: Molly Barnes (3rd base) and Cari Schruth (catcher).

Freshmen: Lauren Andrzejewski (outfield), Liz Gilgan (shortstop), Lindsay Ohm (2nd base), Geneva Hale (1st base), Dee Dee Hayes (outfield), Kelsey Stolz (outfield, 3rd base), Brittney Tachara (pitcher), and Marianne Ward (2nd base).

Freshman Brittany Tachara will lead the Bearcats in pitching. Tachara, helped her team at East Union High School in Manteca, CA, to win the section championships, and finished her high school career with 1,055 strikeouts.

Molly Barnes and Cari Schruth, 2004 All-Conference players and Kim Boscacci, 2003 All-Conference are team leaders who will set the tone for the coming season. “They’re solid players… our heart and sole. The team can see their determination and they feed off of it,” comments Williams.

“All I can say is that I’m excited! We have outstanding seniors coming back, a great group of freshman, and the juniors and sophomores… they are the glue that hold this program together,” says Williams.

Damian Williams

Damian Williams