WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - When the UNCW softball team finished the 2018 season with a 20-29 record, coach Kristy Norton said she knew she had to find something to jump start her team for the upcoming season.
The spark came in the form of nine freshmen.
“With that addition comes a new energy, a new vibe,” said Norton. “We brought in players that are really talented.”
Norton says the rookies’ work ethic is contagious, and they have worked for playing time since Day 1.
“There is a lot of competition and fun on the team, and we are just ready to win,” said freshman Janel Gamache.
“It increases the level of competition in practice,” added senior Kali Jones. “If a freshman is outworking you in practice, a senior isn’t going to want that to happen. They are making the senior class better and all the way down.”
The new players are also letting Norton build the Seahawks roster for the new style of softball being played.
“It’s kind of a new age game right now,” said Norton. “You have to win by scoring runs. Hitters are getting better, pitchers are getting better at times, but we have to hit to score runs.”
The Seahawks have put up big offensive numbers. With 24 games remaining on the schedule, the team has matched or exceeded some of last year’s statistics.
“We have already hit eight more (home runs) than we did all of last year,” Norton said. “In addition, we only scored 148 runs last year, and we are up to 148 runs right now.”