Softball energized heading into 2013
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Most would think the loss of five program defining seniors would send a team back into a rebuilding phase, but not Dolphin softball head coach Ali Higgs. 

After getting a first-hand look at the new crop of freshman joining the Dolphins for the 2013 season, Higgs is convinced JU is set to once again contend for the Atlantic Sun title. 

JU wrapped up its fall season this month after playing eight games against four area teams in which the Dolphins posted an impressive 7-1 record.  The performances of the six new freshmen during the fall games and practices are what gives Higgs and the Dolphins such high hopes heading into the new season. 

“Most people would call it a rebuilding year but I really don’t look at it like that,” said Higgs.  “With all of the new energy that we have, it’s really propelled our team this fall.  Our upperclassmen are on board, everyone is on board so it’s been great adding our six new kids to the team.”

One of the biggest changes the Dolphins will have to get used to in 2013 will be the new faces on the mound. 

JU lost two of its most successful pitchers in program history to graduation last season in Sarah Sigrest and Brittney Eppley.  The pair combined for 28 out of the Dolphins’ 31 wins in 2012.  Sigrest finished her Dolphin career as the most dominant pitcher in program history as the all-time record holder in wins, strikeouts, shutouts, and saves.  The only remaining pitcher on the roster from last season is senior Dale Townsend who picked up the other three victories in 2012. 

“We are a new team with a fresh look,” said Higgs.  “Three of the six freshmen are pitchers so our conference is not going to really know what we are putting out on the mound.  We are going to be a new look all around.”

Those three new pitchers got a small taste of what it is like to pitch against collegiate level hitters with the games this fall.  Taylor Rossman, Victoria Brown, and Cecile Gomez combined to pitch every game for the Dolphins as Townsend was sidelined.  Higgs hopes the exposure this fall to better competition will help the girls get acclimated to life as a college pitcher when the season rolls around this spring. 

The Dolphins’ 2013 season starts on the road in Tallahassee on Feb. 9, when they participate in the FSU Tournament.  They will face Bethune Cookman, FAMU, and Florida State in games throughout two days.