It turns out that the game of softball isn’t actually very soft. Just ask the UVU softball team.
Injury after injury has put the league preseason favorites, and Coach Todd Fairbourne, in a difficult situation, one that has forced the lady Wolverines to learn a new talent for the game of softball: juggling.
“Our season definitely has not started the way we thought it would,” said Fairbourne. “We’ve faced some crazy injuries so far, and we’ve had to move some girls into positions earlier than we thought we would have, but that’s part of the game and it’s my job as a coach to have them ready to play no matter what.”
Juggling new lineups, the lady Wolverines opened up the season going 1-9, but have shown huge signs of improvement along the way. Fairbourne said that he is impressed with the growth of the team so far, but also knows they still need to get better.
“You have to learn to overcome, you have to learn to stay competitive and you have to learn to win,” Fairbourne said. “I don’t care if its injuries, Texas Tech (No. 21 nationally ranked opponent that swept UVU this season) or whatever other obstacles fall in our way, we need to figure it out.”
UVU’s pre-conference schedule hasn’t softened the injury blow for the lady Wolverines thus far, as they have already played New Mexico, Texas Tech and last year’s Big West champions and NCAA regional participant UC Davis.
Fairbourne believes that between a tough schedule and adversity from injuries his team has already faced this season, the lady Wolverines will be ready to make another run at Conference championship.
Junior Amanda Perez and freshman Amanda Robinson have led the attack offensively for UVU so far through the season. Combined, the duo has accounted for five of the teams six home runs, 24 of the 37 RBI, and are numbers one and two on the team in batting average, respectively.
Perez hit .333 with two home runs and 13 RBI during the team’s trip to Texas Tech, and was rewarded by the Pacific Coast Softball Conference Mountain Division as the Player of the Week.
Due to weather scheduling issues UVU Athletics faces every spring, the Wolverines will have played their first 21 games on the road before coming home for four games, three of which are when they will host the UVU Invitational April 1-2.