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Women's varsity softball team ready to take the field

By Tony Perez | 37th Training Wing Public Affairs Office | March 13, 2008

LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, TEXAS — The 2008 Lackland Women's Varsity Softball Team will begin their season this weekend.

After three weeks of tryouts and numerous changes to the schedule, the Warhawks are eager to begin their season.

"The women's league has been shrinking lately, so it has been a little bit harder this year to get our schedule together," said head softball coach Oscar Macias.

This team will feature six returning players from last year's team, including key members, shortstop Christi Hayes, leftfielder Tina Cooper and pitcher Bobbi Russell.

Cooper and Russell's play last season earned them the opportunity to try out for the Women's Air Force Softball Team.

Last year the Warhawks finished second in their league. Second place was a considerable improvement from the year before, when the team came in last place.

"The tryouts have been kind of slow this year, but the type of players that have come out so far has been a good group of girls," Macias said. "They all have experience and are good ballplayers."

This team, however, will not feature two key players from last year's team. Katrina Harden, last season's first baseman and best hitter, will not play this year due to ankle surgery.

Megan Shafer, last season's third baseman and team captain, is currently deployed and has orders to be reassigned upon her stateside return.

Still, Macias expresses a positive outlook on the season, and says that the new players have brought a fresh attitude to the team.

"We are hitting the ball really well compared to last year," the third-year coach said. "We have a lot more power and team unity with this group right now. This is probably the best team we have had since I've been here."

Macias is also looking forward to the Armed Forces Softball Championship. Last year the tournament was held in Orlando, Fla., and the Warhawks came in fifth place.

"We saw some good competition, but our team really came together and played some of their best softball," Macias said.

This year the championship will take place in Panama City, Fla., from Sept. 13-19.

"Right now we only have 11 players," Macias said. "It's not too late to play this year."

Women still interested in playing for the Lackland Varsity Softball Team can contact Coach Macias at 925-4356.