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February 13, 2014

Softball opens storng

By Brendan Samsa

The Cleveland State women’s softball team opened up its season this past Saturday and Sunday at the second annual Cleveland State University Dome Tournament at Krenzler Field.

The Vikings started off their season strong going 3-1 on the weekend only narrowly losing to Robert Morris 1-0 in a pitcher’s duel late Sunday night.

On day one Cleveland State defeated Bucknell and Bowling Green with strong pitching from sophomore Susan Knight and Junior Alex Radjen. Knight added to her stellar day by blasting a three-run homer to seal the win against Bowling Green in game two.

Day two started off with a bang from the first pitch when Junior Nena Doran launched a leadoff home run to left center field, as Cleveland State would go on to shut out Canisius 9-0 in a blowout.

Although the frigid Northeast Ohio weather is still in full force the lady Vikings were able to start their championship run under the shelter of the Krenzler Field Dome. Covering the entire length of the 94,000 square foot field and going 60 feet high the dome makes early February softball a possibility for the ladies.

As the softball season began, it also welcomed in first year head coach Rebecca Norris.
Norris comes off 17 years of colligate coaching experience, most recently spending nine years as the head coach of Indiana Tech, a NAIA school in Fort Wayne, Indiana. During Norris’s tenure at Indiana Tech she posted 229 wins while coaching 25 All- Conference players, seven All-Region players and one All-American.

As she begins her tenure here at Cleveland State, Norris wants to bring her upbeat style of coaching and implement that system here.

“I think I bring enthusiasm, between myself and coach Searle we are constantly upbeat, constantly working to get better each and every day,” said Norris.

After a 2013 campaign that led to a 22-27 overall record, including going 11-11 in Horizon League play, the team is ready to make its way back to the Horizon League Championship, and Norris thinks they will be there this season.

“It’s a definite, we are looking to do it right away this season, without a doubt I’m planning on it this season,” said Norris.

While talking about leadership coach Norris praised Hannah Yoe on the infield, Sara Shields on the mound, and Janessa Rivera-Keahi in the outfield. Expressing how important it is and how fortunate the team is to have such leadership on all three levels of the field.

Cleveland State will travel to Charlotte, North Carolina this weekend to play a two day tournament against Seton Hall, Charlotte, and Drexel twice, Feb. 15-16.