This item originally appeared in the April 8, 2004 issue of The Tech Talk.
While posting a 14-22 record thus far this season, the Techster softball squad has some adversities and weaknesses to fight through to finish with a winning record and improve on a 1-5 mark in Western Athletic Conference play.
The weaknesses are inconsistencies in Tech's level of competitiveness, offensive production in the clutch and the middle of the line up and inability to string plays together offensively.
However, Tech's foundational strengths could ignite the team, put a fire under their seats and help the Techsters finish strong in conference.
Here are the main strengths the Techsters rely heavily on to build a winning season and ultimately reestablish a once nationally-respected program.
Tech's coaching staff is the main strength of this program, as has been for many years. Second year head coach Sarah Dawson follows the legendary Bill Galloway, who compiled 725 wins in 21 seasons with three College World Series appearances, but Dawson also knows what it takes to win.
The California native was a commanding All-American pitcher for the University of Louisiana-Monroe from 1994-1997, and assistant head coach Lori Tande rewrote ULM's record books for her offensive game.
Each coach brings different positives to the game, and each are developing much needed confidence in the hearts and minds of a talent squad, as these coaches strive to restore the once elite program.
Dawson said lack of confidence was her team's toughest adversary, but Dawson and Tande have met the challenge head on and led their team through the necessary baby steps in molding the all-around player.
Another strength is senior ace Marla Pinkston, who consistently delivers stout performances for the Techsters.
Pinkston's 8-14 record speaks injustice of her ability, leadership and dominating performances on the mound.
Many times Pinkston has the Techsters in position to win the game, but Tech's lack of offensive production and run support doesn't come through. However, Pinkston is a mature leader and team player who understands her duty, maintains a high level of competitiveness and continues to unselfishly hurl solid numbers. Pinkston's 1.72 E.R.A. in 139.1 innings pitched with 95 strikeouts speak for themselves.
The third main strength for Tech is the dynamic duo of Amber Miles and Brittany Stanley at the top of the batting order. Dawson calls this duo her table setters, and they live up to their name.
Stanley is leading the team in batting average with .333 and is second on the team with 13 runs and 31 hits.
Miles leads the team in runs and hits with 17 and 39, respectively, and is second on the team in batting average with .315.
Miles and Stanley offer a one-two punch and set up most a large portion of the offense. Defensively, the two combine for 77 put outs and only three errors on the season.
Bridget Broadnax has recently upped her batting average to .308 and posed an offensive threat at the plate. Broadnax has given Tech a much needed outburst in the middle of the lineup by recording 10 runs and 28 hits.
Tech will play at home three nights next week. Come out and support the Techsters, as they battle on the diamond.
Josh Milton is a junior journalism major from Ruston and serves as sports editor for The Tech Talk.