It’s spring time in Oregon, and we all know what that means. Unpredictable weather, a nasty case of allergies, and of course Clackamas Community College softball. This year the Cougars look to build off of a second place finish at the NWAC tournament last season. The Clackamas Print exchanged emails with the head coach of the softball team, Jessica Buel.
The Clackamas Print: What preparations did you make in the off season to keep the momentum of last season going?
Jessica Buel: Recruiting is a big part of continued success in our program. Each year we want to bring in not only talented, hardworking athletes, but those that will fit within our program. We also provide the players with the tools they need to be prepared for the upcoming season. We set a standard from the beginning and expect our players to live up to that standard.
TCP: What are your team’s strengths this season? Where are you not as strong?
JB: Our number one strength is playing as a team. It takes each player contributing for this team to be successful. We also have a very strong offensive game this year. Our biggest weakness is not playing at our level every game.
TCP: What aspect of the game do you focus on most and why?
JB: I don’t think there is just one aspect of the game we focus on. I want a complete team and that means we need to be proficient in every aspect of the game.
TCP: What are some challenges you may face in making a NWAC championship run?
JB: Our biggest challenge is ourselves. As I said before we struggle with always playing our best softball. If we can play at a high level day in and day out we should be competing for a NWAC title.
TCP: What is different about this group of players from any other team you’ve coached?
JB: This group is very hardworking. You can always find them in the weight room or taking extra reps on the field. They encourage each other to get better every day. They are also a very goofy group. We have found that we have to be relaxed to play well.
CCC starting pitcher Emily Marchbanks takes the mound Saturday, April 4, against Chemeketa Community College.
story by: Jack Spencer
photo by: Nick Hadley