As Harding rallies behind the new athletic season, the softball team is reaching for a spot at the conference while playing undefeated this 2021 season.
Sophomore Lily Tanski said that after not getting to play a full season last year, she hopes that the team enjoys every moment of this season.
“I want us to win games, but I also want us to have fun and never take it for granted,” Tanski said. “We have had to make some changes, but our coaches have done a great job of figuring out ways that we can stay safe, but still be able to play together.”
Along with playing an undefeated season so far against four schools in Tennessee and Alabama, Tanksi won the Great American Conference Pitcher of the Week.
Phil Berry, coach for the Lady Bisons, seems excited for the season’s first few successful plays.
“It’s working with the players, developing players and developing relationships with the players,” Berry said. “It’s always a thrill to watch players get better, to grow and to mature. Our philosophy has been, ‘What do we have to do so that we can practice or play today, and what can we do to ensure we can do that tomorrow?’”
Berry said he is excited for the team to play teams outside of their own and to continue the season.
“In the fall we didn’t get to play any outside competition, but now that we are here in the spring . . . they were eager to play somebody with a different colored uniform,” Berry said. “It was nice to go into Alabama and play four pretty good teams and to be fortunate to come out on top and get this season started on a good footing.”
With 40 games left on the schedule, the women are working diligently to keep their winning momentum. Harding plans to host an invitational Feb. 21-23 with four teams coming from nearby states, which will be the opener for a more intense season as the conference schedule begins.
“Having to end the season last year when we were just getting started was heart-breaking,” sophomore Hanna Jones said. “I was so disappointed for our senior class last year, for their senior season to end like that. But, because COVID shortened the season last year, we are more excited than ever to get to play. The entire team is so ready to play, everyone is just wanting to get on the field.”
The Lady Bisons will host four teams — University of Arkansas-Monticello, Drury University, Missouri Western State University and Rogers State University — for an invitational Feb. 21-23. Visit hardingsports.com for live coverage and video of the games.