The Citrus Classic next week will hold special meaning to one player. This will be junior Kasie Hatfield’s chance to return to her old stomping grounds.
“I’m very excited to go back to Florida,” Hatfield said. “After we land in Orlando, we’re going to be near my hometown.”
The Nittany Lions will start play this weekend in Kissimmee, Fla. That is only an hour and 15 minutes from Hatfield’s hometown of Tampa.
“I’m going to see all my family and some friends, hopefully they can come see me play.” she said. “The warm weather will be great too.”
Their opponents for the five-day Citrus Classic will be Hofstra, LSU, Texas A&M, Longwood, Central Michigan, and Loyola (Chicago).
The team (3-4) will look to get over .500 for the first time this season. The Lions went 1-1 last weekend against Iowa State and North Carolina in the Carolina Classic with the first two games being cancelled due to inclement weather.
Head coach Robin Petrini is optimistic about the offense’s progression to start the season.
“I think our offense has continued to produce the first two weekends and we’re hoping they’ll continue to produce and we sure up our defense,” Petrini said.
In their three wins this season, the Lions have scored 29 runs. That equals to an average of just under 10 runs a win.
Senior Cassidy Bell and freshman Macy Jones have led the Lions’ offense with 15 RBI and 9 RBI, respectively.
The team’s practice this week has further provided optimism.
“You always try and take what you did and build on it,” Hatfield said. “Whatever we’re doing in practice, we’re going to use that to go into the weekend.”
The team is still trying to find continuity with the lineup. Petrini said a lot of different players will be stepping up and getting up opportunities.
“There will be all sorts of different lineups,” the 17th-year head coach said. “We’re trying to figure out who will give us our best contributions.”