Softball Season Preview
Adams State softball begins their season this weekend in the U.S. Bank ENMU Softball Classic Kickoff down in Albuquerque, New Mexico. They will face off against Oklahoma Baptist at 1pm and Eastern New Mexico at 5pm on Friday. On Saturday they will play Oklahoma Baptist again at 11am. The following weekend the Grizzlies will travel down to San Angelo, Texas for the ASU George & OLA McCorkle Challenge before starting up conference play. They will play both Texas A&M International and Angelo State three times respectively. The first conference will be against Regis beginning February 16th and the first home game will be on March 2nd against Fort Lewis. Coach Dervin Taylor enters his ninth season as Adams State head coach. Taylor has made it to the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Championship all but two seasons under his tenure including two trips to championship. Last season the Grizzlies finished with a 19-35 (14-22 in conference) record and 11-9 at home while finishing seventh in the regular season conference standings. They made the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Softball Champions Tournament and posted a 1-2 record while finishing in the top fourth. This season Adams State is predicted to finish ninth in the preseason coaches’ poll receiving 55 total points, just one behind CSU-Pueblo. “I am very excited to see where this season will take us. We have a lot of talent this year. As a team, we have been working extremely hard to grow and get better every day. We are projected to finish ninth, however I think this team will surprise a lot of people,” said junior Jasmine Parker. Dixie State led the way with 138 total points and seven first place votes followed by Colorado Mesa who gained 135 total points and six first place votes. Colorado Christian was picked to finish third with 113 points, Regis fourth with 110 points and Metro State Denver with 102 points to round out the top five. Adams State was picked in the coaches’ poll to finish in front of Black Hills State, Fort Lewis, Chadron State and New Mexico Highlands. However there is plenty of room for optimism as the Grizzlies return their top three hitters, led by senior Tyler Hays, out of Grand Junction, CO, who started 52 games and had .361 batting average while hitting 16 home runs and 41 RBIs. Hays led the conference in homeruns. Her .930 slugging percentage was good for second in the conference, tied for second in triples, ninth in batting percentage, and tenth in on-base percentage. She finished the season as an all-conference honorable mention. Sophomore Brittany Phillips, out of Arvada, CO, had .327 batting average with seven home runs and 22 RBIs and also had 30 strikeouts as a pitcher. Junior Shelby Haskins, out of Littleton, CO, had a .314 batting average with four home runs and 18 RBIs. The Grizzlies 33 team homeruns were good for fourth in the country last season. Last season Adams State led the conference with eight players finishing on the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference all-academic honor roll team including returners Jasmine Parker and Sarah Hansen. Adams State will have both experience and newcomers on the field this season. This is team that has six seniors on a 34 person roster.