The Hillsdale College Chargers will begin their regular season with five games in Chattanooga, Tennessee, beginning this weekend.
Head coach Kyle Gross said the Chargers will be competing in a brand new tournament and will face some teams they’ve never seen before, along with a familiar competitor.
“We haven’t faced Lee University before, and McKendree acquired playing us before,” Gross said. “North Georgia has been ranked the past four years. We played a good game against them last year.”
The Chargers will face the Columbus State Cougars on Friday, Feb. 7 at 11 a.m. to begin the weekend. The Chargers will conclude the weekend with one game on Sunday, Feb. 9 against the University of Montevallo Falcons.
Sophomore infielder Kasidy Carson said the team has been working on mechanics and are ready to get back into the swing of the season.
“I’m excited, I think it’ll be really good for us, especially because we haven’t been on the dirt in awhile,” Karson said. “It’ll be good to be able to play seven innings again and be the team that we know we can be.”
Gross said the team has improved significantly during practice since returning from winter break.
“We’re focusing a lot on defense execution, and we’ve implemented offensive strategies and the execution of those,” Gross said. “Ending practice the other day, they looked like they were ready to go play.”
Senior outfielder Carlin MacDonald-Gannon said the team has plenty of talent this season, and she’s excited to see how everybody steps into their different roles.
“We’re very mentally tough,” MacDonald-Gannon said. “We’ve got some really big bats this year. And we’ve been working on defense, mechanics, overall strategy –– everything we’ve been working on has been really good. I think it’s really clicking and falling into place. I’m excited to see how this actually plays out in live games.”
With this being her final season Mac-Donald Gannon said she is ready to start but will make an effort to enjoy every moment she has left with the team.
‘I’m just hoping I don’t take it for granted, don’t get too mental about it, and I just have fun,” MacDonald-Gannon said. “These are some of my closest friends, so I’m just going to try to enjoy this last season.”
Coming into this season as back-to-back GMAC champions, Gross said the team has come together during the off-season and has many strengths.
“We’re bringing our experience of last year to this season,” Gross said. “We want to come out of the gate with a competitive mentality. And then we want to place higher in the GMAC and win the conference tournament again.”