The Northeastern State softball team will open its 2013 campaign on Friday at the Southeastern Tournament in Durant at Southeastern Oklahoma State. The RiverHawks will play six games in three days, with the opener against Arkansas Tech at 2 p.m. on Friday.
On games on the docket for NSU include: Drury (4 p.m. Friday), Ouachita Baptist (10 a.m. Saturday), Missouri Southern (2 p.m. Saturday), Angelo State (2 p.m. Sunday) and Cameron (4 p.m. Sunday).
The RiverHawks are coming off a 21-25 season in 2012 and were picked to finish ninth in a preseason coaches' poll in the MIAA.
NSU coach Clay Davis and his players see the projected finish as a source of motivation.
"You have to be in the top eight to make the conference tournament," NSU pitcher Cayce Coleman said. "So that's where I want to be."
"We've got it posted around our locker room," said Davis, entering his first season at NSU. "This is what everyone thinks of us. And is this who we truly are? We've challenged (the players) with that.
"I believe we're better than that, but what I believe and what they do is totally different. Our big hurdle this year has been: expecting to win and adapting that mindset. I think we're there, and we're starting to get that feel about us."
Even if things don't pan out for the RiverHawks, it won't be because of a lack of effort.
"We practice six days a week, and we're out here all the time," NSU right fielder Lindsea Ross said. "We're lifting weights or putting time in. Starting on Friday, it'll be a good season. My expectations are really high and I think we'll fulfill our coach's expectations."
In case you missed it. Here are links to two NSU softball stories that ran in Wednesday's edition of the Tahlequah Daily Press:
- Coleman to lead the RiverHawks in the pitching circle in 2013: http://tahlequahdailypress.com/sports/x1633474105/Coleman-takes-charge
- Lindsea Ross shifts from catcher to right field to better serve the RiverHawks: http://tahlequahdailypress.com/sports/x1303541195/Ross-making-position-switch-for-RiverHawks
-- Ben Johnson