Softball swings for the fences

After a disappointing result last season, the Eagles look to turn a new page.

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Softball swings for the fences

Junior Kendall Maddox winds up her pitch at the softball game against La Sierra University on Feb. 6.  | Melanie Kim/THE CHIMES [file photo]

Junior Kendall Maddox winds up her pitch at the softball game against La Sierra University on Feb. 6.  | Melanie Kim/THE CHIMES [file photo]

Junior Kendall Maddox winds up her pitch at the softball game against La Sierra University on Feb. 6.  | Melanie Kim/THE CHIMES [file photo]

Junior Kendall Maddox winds up her pitch at the softball game against La Sierra University on Feb. 6.  | Melanie Kim/THE CHIMES [file photo]

Dale Fredriks, Writer

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Last year, the softball team came into the season projected to get second place in the Golden State Athletic Conference. Unfortunately, that result did not come to pass, as the final series of the year determined whether they made the postseason or not. The series, against the Vanguard University Lions, ended with two losses for the Eagles, giving them an overall record of 21-30-1 for the 2016 season and eliminating them from playoff contention.

Waving goodbye

Biola also said goodbye to four senior players — third baseman Heather Hall, catcher Bria Madrid, pitcher Kendall Maddox and utility player Iliana Morales. All four played a huge role in the team’s cohesiveness and productivity in their areas of expertise. Hall may be the largest loss for the team’s offense, as she led Biola in slugging percentage at .534 with a team-high four home runs.

Taking the place of those four seniors is a wave of returners as well as four new freshmen plus a sophomore transfer to bring some fresh talent to the Eagles’ squad.

Head coach Lorie Coleman enters her eighth season of coaching for Biola, after making Biola softball a positive force in the GSAC and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics postseason. The 2014 and 2015 seasons saw the Eagles earn second place in GSAC and exit in the first round of the NAIA tournament, which they had not been a part of since the 2002 season. Hopefully, in Biola’s final year as an NAIA competitor, they can get back on that winning track.

high expectations 

The team comes into this season with high expectations on themselves, yet still remain grounded in the fact that their faith is on display on the field, not just their talent.

“Our team goal is to be ‘greater than’ for Christ,” said senior outfielder Kasey Hormel. “Our goals are to win GSAC Conference, make it to Nationals again and ultimately the World Series.”

Biola softball steps onto the diamond again on Jan. 27, when they face the La Sierra University Golden Eagles in a home doubleheader.