Updated: 9/24 1:52 pm
New University of Houston-Victoria softball coach Lindsey
Ortiz will have an opportunity to see her team in action for the first time
Saturday and Sunday when the Jaguars participate in the SLGSA College Classic
in Sugar Land.
After earning their second consecutive trip to the NAIA
National Championships opening round tournament last season, Ortiz will have
eight new players to work into the mix that includes seven returning position
The Jaguars open play on Saturday against Texas Southern
in a 12:30 p.m. matchup and then face San Jacinto College at 3 p.m. They will
wrap up play on Sunday with a noon contest against Galveston College and a 2
p.m. game with St. Mary’s University at the Imperial Park Softball Complex.
The Jaguars lost just three players – shortstop Brittany
Arredondo, pitcher Dawn Villegas and designated player/first baseman Jena West
- from last year’s 32-22 squad that finished the season ranked No. 18.
With seven starters back as position players, Ortiz will
have her eye on the eight newcomers to help fill key roles in the Jaguars’
lineup. Among the newcomers are transfers Rachel Laird and Brienna Martinez,
along with freshmen Savannah Crittenden, Tara Dotson, Griffin Gilbert, Alexis
Leverette and Semionle Youngblood.
Gilbert and Youngblood will be counted on to step in to
add depth to the pitching staff of Alex Holland, Megan Carter and Alicia Fikac.
Crittenden, Martinez and Munoz are expected to serve as
utility players, while Laird will roam the outfield and Leverette could see
time at first base.
Other returnees for the Jaguars include, Kristina Droz at
catcher, Ashley Shannon at first base, Marley Moehrig at third base along with
Naomi Trevino, Krissa Powell and Isablla Soto in the outfield. Second baseman
Ashley Winegeart is expected to move to shortstop to replace Arredondo and
outfielder Casey Sax is expected to move to second base.
Moehrig was named to the NAIA and NFCA All-America first
teams last season as well as the Association of Independent Institutions
Conference Player of the year. Holland was named to the NAIA All-America second
team and A.I.I. Conference first team, while Winegeart and Shannon earned
A.I.I. Conference second team recognition.