PITTSBURGH - As preseason practice for the 2013 softball campaign is now fully underway, www.pittsburghpanthers.com has launched `Preseason Central' which will give fans an in depth look at this year's Panthers as they prepare for their first tournament at Texas A&M on February 15.
Preseason Central will feature daily video blogs with the team, along with photo galleries, Q&A interviews and `Getting to Know Our Freshmen' segments for the next month.
February 13: Preseason is over! It's game time people. The team leaves for Texas A&M tomorrow to play in its first tournament of the season. We caught up with head coach Holly Aprile to get her thoughts on the tournament and her team as a whole:
February 11: Opening day is rapidly approaching. In three days we will be in College Station Texas to play Stephen F. Austin, North Carolina and host Texas A&M...Today is an off day for the team.
All three of next weekend's opponents were in action this past weekend. Texas A&M went 4-0 out in LA, including a win against No. 19 UCLA. They also run-ruled two teams. After two losses to open the season - UNC rebounded to win its final three at the Tiger Classic hosted by LSU. The Tar Heels lost to No. 10 LSU in their first game, but beat the Tigers 3-1 in the tournament finale. Stephen F. Austin went 2-3 at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz.
Video interviews to continue tomorrow.
February 8: No video interviews today as I won't be able to make it to practice because of other sporting obligations...BUT - in one week from RIGHT NOW we will be playing our first game!
Trivia questions for fans out there - How many girls on the current roster are from the state of California? Tweet your answer to @Pittsoftball and I will be sure to respond. Have a good weekend!
February 7: Just a quick weather update - it is 75 and partly cloudy in College Station today.
Switching it up...today we talked with Assistant Jen Chamberlin. Jen is the hitting and infielding coach, so she discusses the progress the team has been making in the cages since the beginning of preseason. On the defensive side, the infield is brand new, so Jen touches upon that:
February 6: Freshman Taylor Henry hails from Harrisburg, Pa and attended Central Dauphin high school. She owns virtually every pitching record there, but now finds herself playing first base at the collegiate level. Taylor talks about the adjustments that needed to be made and being one week away from something that she has dreamed about her entire life:
February 5: Carissa Throckmorton is coming off a very successful freshman campaign in which he started all 52 games and tallied 33 hits, 4 HR's, 24 RBI and 20 runs scored. This season though, she is moving from the outfield to third base. Carissa talks about her transition thus far through preseason and also the team's expectation for the first tournament:
February 4: Welcome to week three! Monday is the team's off day, so no practice today. We are 10 days away from opening day at College Station, Texas.
The Panthers are poised to have a really good season. Holly Stevens will lead the way as she is Pitt's all-time home runs leader with 27. She also enters the season third on the career RBI list. In the circle, Savannah King is coming off a record-setting freshman campaign. She set Pitt's single-season records for wins (19), appearences (40) and innings pitched (227.1).
Another fun fact about this year's team is that 87.5 percent of the squad is either a freshman or a sophomore. 14 of the 16 girls on the team are in their first or second year, while Stevens is the only senior and junior college transfer Lauren Vinson is the only junior.
Video interviews to continue tomorrow...Hail to Pitt!!
February 1: Today we caught up with freshman Morgan Choe. Morgan talks about her transition from high school to college softball, along with campus life in general. Listen in:
January 31: As we turn the calendar to February, that means we are only getting closer to opening day! As they have been doing all preseason - the coaches have the girls break up into small groups to hit in the cages prior to practice. Here is a Photo Gallery to give you a look.
We were also able to catch up with outfielder Carly Thea. Carly is a sophomore who is one of the vetrans on the team. Carly discusses what she wants to improve on from year one to year two and what trips she is most excited to go on.
January 30: The Pitt schedule consists of 11 teams that made the NCAA Tournament a year ago, and two of which reached the College World Series (Arizona State and USF). It is a challenging schedule - but assistant coach Gina Fuchs talks about how it will set the girls up for success:
January 29: Not much to report today. After having yesterday off, the team was back at practice today. Here are a couple of highlights from the beginning of the afternoon:
We will continue with player interviews tomorrow...
January 28: Today is an off day for the team - so its a perfect day to catch everyone up on whats been happening.
We are 17 days away from our first game (notice the nice little countdown on the website)! Pitt will be tested right off the bat as the Panthers head to the Aggie Classic and will play two Top-25 teams in No. 17 Texas A&M and No. 22 North Carolina. The Panthers will also play Stephen F. Austin while in College Station.
In other news, the players continue to file in to do their player profiles. Today we had Carly Thea and Kaila Balatgek come in for their profiles, and although they both did an awesome job, I had to take advantage of Kaila's bloopers...Check it out:
January 25: Sophomore Maggie Sevilla started all 52 games as a freshman and had the second most home runs on the team with eight. We caught up with the second baseman to see what she wants to improve on as a sophomore and also to get her take on the seaosn ahead.
January 23: Just a quick reminder to FOLLOW US ON TWITTER!! @PittSoftball
Back at it with the video interviews!! Today is the first of our 'Getting to Know the Freshmen' series.
Ashlee Sills and Tori Nirschl, both who come to Pitt via California, discuss their transition from high school to college, from Cali to Pittsburgh, and the love they have for their teammates and coaches...listen in.
January 22: Today is the start of our second full week of practice! No interviews today, but check out this Photo Gallery as the team works with their respective positions.
Also - Check out this quick video as the players work with their coaches:
January 18: Today's video feature is with sophomore pitcher Savannah King. Last season as a freshman, King stamped her name into the Pitt record books for most single-season wins (19), innings pitched (227.1) and appearances (40). Listen as King talks about improving as a team and the excitement everyone has for the season to start:
January 17: Today features Pitt's all-time home runs leader and lone senior Holly Stevens. A two-time All-Conference performer, Stevens talks about leaving her mark on the Pitt softball program and helping the team as Pitt transitions into the ACC.