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Coyote softball preps for fall schedule

Fall ball is here—and with all due respect to football—we’re talking softball and the beginning of preparations for another season for the Weatherford College Coyotes.

Coming off of a 34-21 season that saw them finish third in Region V-North Tournament, head coach Haylee Williams is anxious to see what the mix of returning players and newcomers will produce.

“The fall, like the spring, is a grind. It’s a lot of early morning workouts, and a lot of focus on fundamentals and increasing the team’s softball IQ,” Williams said. “We work on building team chemistry, mental and physical toughness. The fall is an opportunity for everyone to get playing time so we can see who will be our key players for the spring season.

“We have a big freshman class with 14 and one sophomore transfer, a lot of new faces.”

Key returners include all-conference pick Stephanie Jimenez (.418 average, 9 home runs, 59 hits, 51 RBI, .465 on-base percentage, .681 slugging) at third base, Kristen Kamnick (13 home runs, 34 RBI, 28 walks, 9-9 stolen bases, .443 on-base percentage) at first, and pitcher Natalie Trujillo (9-5, 3.19 ERA, 1 save, 81 strikeouts, 125 innings).

“Natalie brings good experience to the circle as the only returning pitcher and will be an asset with a young staff,” Williams said.

Among the newcomers looking to make a quick impact are Brooklyn Araujo (sophomore transfer), second base, Downey, California; Mackenzie Egan, utility, Vaudreuil-Dorion, Quebec, Canada; Marcie Moss, pitcher/first base, Buna; and Katy Ruddy catcher/third base, Peaster.

“Brooklyn has looked really good in practice and does a lot of things well. Mackenzie is also another one that has stood out. She is a true utility player with a lot of talent,” Williams said. “Marcie will be a powerful arm in the circle for us and also a big bat in the lineup as well. Katy has been on fire in intra-squads, so we look for her to be impactful as well. We have a lot of talent in our freshman class, so it’s hard to pick just a few.”

The Coyotes’ fall season is once again challenging. They play nine universities, including five NCAA Division I programs. The highlight comes at the end of the fall season with a trip to Texas A&M on Nov. 1.

“We play a tough fall schedule for us to prepare for the spring but also it’s a good recruiting opportunity for our girls when we play against the four-year universities,” Williams said. “We have high expectations for this group and that starts now.”