Published: February 8, 2006
The PJC Lady Pirate Softball team is gearing up for another season in the Panhandle Conference. Ninth year Coach Brenda Pena leads a young, ambitious team this year, returning only two sophomores, Holley Joyner and Amanda Leggett.
“I am really looking to my two sophomores to lead this team this year,” Pena said.
Leggett and Joyner really feel the change in their roles on the team from freshmen to sophomores.
“There’s a lot more pressure on us this year than there was last year,” Leggett said. “The girls really look up to us so there’s more pressure to be an example.”
“There’s more pressure on and off the field too,” Joyner said. “We have been asked lots of questions about everything from warm-ups to hitting. Hitting, though, we all kind of help each other out.”
The Lady Pirates roster includes 13 freshmen. The youth of the team doesn’t concern Pena.
“We are young but we play a strong non-conference schedule, meaning we play a lot of four-year colleges,” Pena said. “We played Auburn University in the fall so our freshman really have gotten some big game experience that should help us during the season”
The Lady Pirates are looking to improve on last year’s 32-11 season record and stellar conference record, including a trip to the state tournament. They carry over a 10-game regular season winning streak including a five-game shutout streak.
“The run we made last year was crazy,” Leggett said.
Pena, however, still has high goals for this younger team.
“Our goal is to win the conference title and earn a berth to the state tournament. Then after that we will reassess our goals and reset them,” Pena said.
The Lady Pirates’ home opener is Feb. 16 against Faulkner State Community College at the PJC Milton Campus.