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Lady Eagles Softball Puts in Work During the Fall

After finishing third in the Lone Star conference standings, fourth in conference batting average and second in the NCAA South Central regional championship last year, Oklahoma Christian softball is back and ready to work. The Lady Eagles have hosted a couple off-season games already, with their most recent being against Seminole State University.

Head coach Shalee Rodriguez said the team uses fall games to build chemistry. 

“The fall is totally for experiments,” Rodriguez said. “Playing other teams gives us an opportunity to see what our team is made of, who’s going to come up in the big moments, who can handle it and who can’t.” 

Rodriguez showed optimism towards the upcoming season.

“I’ve got seven seniors who returned, and they all loved last year,” Rodriguez said. “Obviously, it was a great year for us, but they are not satisfied yet.”

Rodriguez discussed her excitement with the new freshmen class.

“I’ve been told that our freshmen class is one of the best classes a couple times now,” Rodriguez said. “We have a two-time Gatorade Player of the Year coming in as a freshman, so that’s really exciting.”

Senior Aaliyah Brown also shared excitement about the incoming freshmen.

“Our whole freshman class is really exciting to play with,” Brown said. “We have Adyson, who’s a great utility player; we have Karissa, a power hitter and Kallie can play pretty much anywhere.”

Brown spoke about how playing in the fall differs from competing in the spring.

“Obviously, you want to win; nobody really wants to lose,” Brown said. “But for us, it’s a lot more about where we’re at and who belongs where. You have your starters, sure, but you also want to see who can fit where and which transfers and freshmen can step up.”

Brown went on to talk about the momentum she and the team plan on bringing as they aim to go further into the playoffs than last spring, as well as some personal goals for herself. 

“We’re trying to focus on the same thing we were focusing on before,” Brown said. “We’re hoping to become mentally stronger and tweak some of the little things here and there. I also want to become an All American and hit .400. As a team, we want to get to super regionals.”

Transferring to a new college for sports is difficult for many. For junior transfer Jaydee Pulliam, the challenge comes from adjusting to changes.

“It’s a lot bigger and nicer here compared to my junior college,” Pulliam said. “The atmosphere is completely different; it’s a big culture change.”

Pulliam said one big change for her has been going from playing infield to center field.

“I mainly played second base at my junior college,” Pulliam said. “I had experience in the outfield, but it’s different being mainly an outfielder now.”

Fellow Junior transfer Kennedi Christian shared a similar story when it came to cultural differences.

“The biggest transition has been trying to find my role on the team,” Christian said. “It’s helpful that the girls here are all so nice, so they did make fitting in pretty welcoming.”

One major difference between Pulliam’s and Christian’s stories, however, is that Christian has not changed positions.

“I haven’t had to really branch out like that,” Christian said. “I primarily play catcher, so my role for the most part has been pretty much the same.”

The Lady Eagles have one more home game this semester on Oct. 11 at 4 p.m.

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