Ready for a winning season

Lions’ new head softball coach Jason Anderson speaks at his introductory press conference on June. 28, 2012. Anderson, from Central Baptist College, thinks he can lead the team to success this season.

The Lions softball team is set to start a new season under new direction. Coach Jason Anderson, who accepted the job in July, is excited about the start of the 2013 season.

Anderson takes the place of Jeremy Reece, whose contract was not renewed at the end of the 2012 season. Last season the softball team finished 20-26 overall with a Gulf South Conference record of 8-21. Additionally, the Lions have not seen a winning season since 2008.

Anderson believes with the team he has now that the Lions can have a successful season.

“I don’t think this is a rebuilding process,” Anderson said. “The girls on this team have talent.”

Anderson is a former baseball player who received his bachelor’s degree in 2001 from Arkansas Tech University.  He then went to Western University where he received his Masters.

Anderson’s former coaching job was at Central Baptist College in Arkansas where he spent five years as head coach. He led the team to one national championship in 2010, started the Mustangs as a top five team in 2011 and compiled a 225-37 record over his entire tenure.

In Anderson’s first year at CBC he accomplished a record of 29-9, despite having only three returning players

Anderson’s focus for the Lions right now is to get them playing together as a whole, and to get them ready to sub-in at positions when needed.

“We need to strengthen the team in certain spots,” Anderson said. “We’re really working on depth right now.”

The Lady Lion’s signed two players at the last moment as Anderson took the job, and only have to worry about replacing five seniors that were lost from last year’s squad.  

“We’ve had eight to 10 players transfer from junior college’s and other four year universities,” Anderson said. “And we’ve got to have the ladies ready for transitioning in.”

Anderson believes that his pitching circle is solid with the return of Breanna Riley and Haley Barnette, and that the team’s defense will be tighter with the return of several infielders.

The Lady Lion’s softball season is set to begin Feb. 7 against Stillman in Tuscaloosa at 1 p.m.