UH aims for College World Series

On the heels of their third consecutive NCAA tournament appearance and with a solid core of returners, the Cougars believe they are bound for bigger accomplishments.

Head coach Kyla Holas said the Cougars have “taken it personal” that they haven’t reached the College World Series and, after 41 wins, look to make the leap to softball’s biggest stage.

“It isn’t just something we say every day, but it’s a mentality and something we’ve all committed to,” said redshirt junior Sydney Gerbracht.

With some essential returning talent and some key newcomers, the Cougars will look to get off to a good start. Their season begins Friday with the Houston Classic, where Holas anticipates a strong showing.

“We’ve increased their conditioning, and they’re way more balanced, confident, and knowledgeable,” Holas said. “The girls have also focused on being leaders on and off the field by constantly helping each other out.”

The goal for the team in 2014 is to surpass its 41-win 2013 season, and with “bound” as their motto, the players are taking on the challenge.

Senior Deidre Outon, as well as Gerbracht, said the key to the team’s success this year is going to be working together.

“We have to give 100 percent every day and do what we know how to do,” Outon said.

The biggest obstacle for the team this year, however, could be the switch from Conference USA to the American Athletic Conference.

“We were so good at knowing our opponents in C-USA, and now we have a lot of different opponents that we don’t know much about,” Holas said. “The biggest thing is going to be getting past it and just showing up and doing the best that we can do.”

Holas has been working the team hard during the offseason and preseason, and she expects that their work will pay off this year.

“The fans can expect to see a faster team on the field this year,” Holas said. “This is the most athletic team we’ve ever had. You’re going to see some big plays, strong arms and home runs this year.”

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