It was great to kick-off the 2012 softball season in Tampa, Fla. The University of South Florida hosted a nice tournament with Arkansas, Drake and Georgia Southern. I'm proud of our team for winning our opening game, and coming home 2-2.
Whitney Massey led the offense, getting on base and driving in runs. Redshirt sophomore Molly Spence provided a few sparks, driving in runs in three separate games. Our pitchers were impressive; averaging only five hits a game while keeping us in every contest. Junior Meghan McIntosh and sophomore Cassandra Darrah each earned their first wins of the season. Defensively, Shannel Blackshear and Stephanie Peace did a nice job holding down the left side of the infield their first weekend on the dirt.
We have a short turnaround this week, returning to Florida to face Maryland, Florida State, Southern Illinois and St. John's in Orlando Feb. 24-26. Maryland and Florida State are both ranked in the top 30 right now, which is exciting.
Our focus last weekend was pulling activities from the book, "10-Minute Toughness" by Jason Selk. We had our team create "Identity Statements" to help them decide who they want to be and how they want to live. Dr. Maxwell Maltz's "Psycho Cybernetics" argues that you will act like the sort of person you conceive yourself to be. I think this positive self-talk exercise helped our athletes stay composed and confident.