Sophomore Caitlin Conrad
Jan. 11, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio - For the first time in 2013 under first-year head coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly, the Ohio State softball team began practice at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center at the indoor field, while also spending time outside with the warmer weather in Columbus this week. The Buckeyes, which will begin the season in four weeks at the University of Georgia Tournament, were excited to get to work with the guidance of coach Schoenly and her coaching staff.
"The team came back from break fired up to begin practice," Schoenly said. "This group is highly-motivated and that's exactly what we want to see as a staff. They are ready to get work and this week we were fortunate to get outside. "They know there is a lot of competition at each position right now and our goal is to try and get better each day."
Some quick hits on the start of practice:
- The roster consists of 21 members (six outfielders, 9 infielders and six pitchers.
- Senior Megan Coletta and freshman Jayla Saibene are back practicing with the team full time after being sidelined last fall due to injury/illness. Schoenly said Coletta brings "a sense of purpose to practice and the team, while Saibene brings a "fresh competitive spirit" to the group.
- The first official practice was Tuesday afternoon. The team began the day going through their warm-up routine, which consisted of a throwing drill that ended with a competitive short-hop contest in groups of two.
- Assistant coach Amanda Buchholz worked with the infielders on "getting to the ball." Sophomore Shelby Pickett spent time at the middle infield positions working on groundballs, showing nice range, while junior Leesa Gresham worked out at third base.
- Schoenly worked out the pitchers on the far side of the indoor field. She was a 1995 NFCA First-Team All-American and a two-time Big Ten Pitcher of the Year at Michigan (1991-95).
- On Wednesday, the team spent time at the outdoor cages, working on bunting, while also spending time on base running on the outdoor turf field.
- The third practice session was called "Fundamental Thursday" by Schoenly. A circuit of defensive drills was organized in seven groups of three, working on a wide range of fielding skills.
- The team finished the afternoon working on hitting as assistant coach Jenna Hall organized multiple swinging drills that included a soft toss session from 40 yards out to the near curtain wall on the indoor field. Every member of the team worked on hitting, including the pitchers who were the most excited to pick up a bat.
- Practice today, which was called by Hall as "Offensive Frenzy Friday", was moved to this evening due to weather conditions.
- Former Buckeye outfielder Vanessa Spears will be a part of the coaching staff as a student assistant coach.
Check out the photo album above.