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Saturday, January 28, 2017

ACC Baseball and Softball Teams Ready for Spring

The Alvin Community College Softball squad looks to start the year with a whole field of new faces as returning sophomores on the Baseball looks to advance farther in the NJCAA Region 14 tournament.

Both teams are gearing up for their Spring 2017 debut on Friday. The Softball team will start their season against Snead State at 9 a.m. at the Galveston Invitational Tournament. The Baseball team will take to the field against Brookhaven in Alvin at 1 p.m.

"I'm looking forward to watching both of these teams compete in Region 14,” Athletic Director Bill Lewis said. “Both coaches are excited to see how the student-athletes' hard work in training and practice pays off.”

The Softball team turned in a 17-25 season in 2016 and will start this season with one returning player, 16 true freshmen and one redshirt freshman. Rudi Cantu, now in her fourth season as head coach, has seen individual players excel but wants to see a stronger team effort.

“Compared to last year, we want to improve on our pitching and being more consistent,” Cantu said. “We always have many players make All-Conference Teams but that is based on individual stats. This year I want my team to focus on the team success rather than the individual success.”

Cantu said she feels the 2017 squad has strong pitching and to be successful the team will have keep up with strength and conditioning to perform late into the season.

“I think our greatest strength is the fact that we have so many new players that nobody will know their tendencies. We also have a solid pitching staff this year,” Cantu said. “I have an extremely young but talented group of ladies this year. I’m excited to see what they can do after working so hard in the fall.”

The Lady Dolphins will play their first home game on March 4 against Lamar State.

The Softball team will soon get a new addition to their facilities with the construction of a fieldhouse adjacent to the Ruth Ryan Field.

"We're hoping to have the new softball field house ready at some point this season and that will increase our home field advantage,” Lewis said. “A lot of people have worked hard to make this happen and I'm grateful to the Board of Regents and President Christal M. Albrecht for their support. It's an exciting time to be an ACC Dolphin."

The Baseball team posted a 31-28 record in a 2016 season marred by many injuries. In his second year as head coach, Jason Schreiber hopes to build on the team’s strengths.

“Learning from last year we set out to improve our overall depth to prepare better for injuries,” Schreiber said. “We feel like we have accomplished this goal. We had eight players sign early with Division one schools, the remaining six unsigned sophomore guys will sign this Spring.”

There are several returning starters from last year’s team, Schrieber said.

“We return two starting pitchers from last season Noah Sills and Cameron Kremers both all-star selections,” he said. “We also return two starting outfielders Sean Kinel and Ryan Benavidez, our third baseman Tyler Smith from last year moves to first base and will help on the mound this season.  We also have Noah Shackles returning, he caught half the games last season, along with Zayne Willems our 2015 catcher who had to sit out last season with an arm injury.”

The team will have to work and grow together, but Schreiber feels the players will improve upon last year’s record.

“Our greatest strengths this season is our athleticism defensively, we should be able to take a lot of hits away from the opposition,” he said. “We will have a much deeper pitching staff with plus stuff and the ability to pitch.  The lineup, one through nine will be able to put up runs, with a good mix of speed and power.”

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