Alex Rivera/Staff Writer
With FIU Softball starting on Thursday afternoon, so does the start of a new era. With this new era, a new coaching staff and new players.
With a new coach and players, Head Coach Chris Steiner-Wilcoxson says that “…the first thing you got to do is build team chemistry and [the players] have to learn the coaches and their style and what they’re trying to implement…” For Coach Steiner-Wilcoxson joins FIU after serving as the head coach for Alabama State.
Team chemistry is the way a team and staff are able to come together collectively. It is something nontangible and impossible to quantify in the real world. But to Steiner-Wilcoxson, it’s part of the theme for this season.
The other part of this season’s theme: rebound. It’s no secret that last season was hard on the team, finishing with seven wins and 16 losses in the conference. “…We want to bounce back from what happened in the previous couple of years, we want to get back to top of the conference, we want to get back to a winning tradition, and you know, just making a run to the NCAA Tournament.”
Conference play does not start until March 13th, so the focus remains in getting through this weekend’s four games in the Felsberg Invitational. Play begins against the California Bears, Penn State Nittany Lions, Michigan State Spartans, the Syracuse Orange. Coach Steiner-Wilcoxson sets the goals for this weekend, “…fine tuning some things, figuring some things out, getting to see some live pitching besides our own pitchers and stuff like that, just really implementing everything we put into practice into a game.”
As for the other games before conference play begins, after the Felsberg Invitational, are three more tournaments. These will take place in Tampa, Longwood and at the FIU Softball Stadium. These games do little to affect the chances of making the C-USA Tournament when compared to the actual conference games. But these tournaments do serve a purpose. These tournaments answer the questions of Steiner-Wilcoxson that she says are “…who can do what, what each individual brings to the table, who can come through in the clutch, who can come through in different situations…”
Coach Steiner-Wilcoxson believes that “no game is more important than another game, we got to take all of them just as serious as if it was the national championship game”
FIU Softball starts their first game of the season at 5pm on February 6, 2020 and will play at 5pm and 7pm on Friday February 7, 2020, and at 3pm on Saturday,