McNeese softball team again off to fast start

By By Troy LaFleur / American Press

Under the tutelage of head coach Mike Smith, the McNeese State Cowgirls have become accustomed to starting the year off with

a bang.

Playing top-ranked teams and nationally recognizable programs have become a theme for McNeese softball, which kicked the 2014

season off with South Alabama Mardi Gras Tournament in Mobile, Al. last weekend.

In their season opener on Friday, the Cowgirls topped the No. 21 Alabama-Birmingham Blazers 5-3 in extra innings. After trailing

1-0 for most of the game, the Cowgirls jumped back into it in the top of the fifth when Alanna DiVittorio hit a solo home

run over the left field fence for the first run of the season. The Cowgirls would go on to explode with four runs on three

hits in the top of the eighth for the victory.

“I thought we came in with great energy

and excitement,” said Smith. “I felt that we stayed composed and didn’t

panic even

when we got behind. We took quality at-bats and made some big

defensive plays, then got that big home run from Alanna DiVittorio

and battled back.”

The Cowgirls would go on to finish the weekend 3-2, picking up victories over UAB, Austin Peay and Syracuse while losing to

South Alabama and Austin Peay.

“I felt like probably the biggest thing was that we took quality at-bats all weekend. For the most part we played pretty good

defense, and we came to play most of the time,” said Smith of his team’s performance in the tournament.

“There was only one game that we really let get away from ourselves, but other than that we had good pitching and did the

prototypical McNeese St. softball thing by being aggressive on the bases.”

This weekend the Cowgirls will be in action in what could prove to be an even tougher tournament when they travel to College

Station, Tx. for the Texas A&M Aggie Classic.

“I think that we are talented enough that we can go up against anybody,” Smith said.

“We are just looking to play softball and get better everyday. If we come out with a win great, but if we don’t we put the

uniform back on and try again in the next one. “I think we are looking for the same thing week after week.”

Next weekend it’s the Aggie Classic at Texas A&M.