By Nick Kieser
The Volunteer State Community College softball team is having a winning season. Their record as of April 5 is 25-5 with a 10-game winning streak.
“Going 25-5 — I would’ve never thought about it with 15 freshman that have to play. I honestly feel it’s that they refuse to lose,” said Johnny Lynn, head coach.
The softball squad is 17-3 in their conference play this season. As a team they have only lost one game on road.
“The fifth game, I believe, we lost our starting second baseman, and bigger hitters. Tori Barnes broke her wrist on a collision at first base. She has provided leadership in the dugout since then,” said Lynn.
The Pioneers are only second to Chattanooga State Community College in the standings, and Chattanooga has played twelve more games than the Pioneers.
“We are all really tough and want to go bigger places. I like being the leader. I’m tough, and I don’t like to lose,” said sophomore player, Jaylin Mabry.
Out of the 18 players listed on the roster, only three, Mabry, Barnes, and Riley Fleming are sophomores on the team.
“My role is to keep everyone mentally focused. It’s easy to get distracted or get mad. You have to teach younger players how to bounce back,” said Mabry
“We being fifteen freshman we do silly stuff, but they play through it. They are a true team because they pick each other up,” said Lynn.
The loss of a veteran sophomore has not stopped the rolling Pioneers. With 17 games left to play, the team could compete with the number spot in the standings with Chattanooga State who has 18 games left.
This season, Lynn has been using the bullpen in a different way as he has four pitchers.
“Riley usually throws game one, but we are fortunate to have as many pitchers as we do, and they are all different,” said Lynn.
The team is on the cusp of being in the postseason in less than a month, and they would like to go all the way this year.
“A lot of the tougher teams don’t have team chemistry. If you have chemistry, it changes the whole dynamic of a team. I definitely think we can win the whole thing, no doubt in my mind. We are more mentally with it than other teams. We do not stop,” said Mabry.
Last year’s record of 8-20 has now blossomed into a winning season that could turn into a huge success for the Pioneers this season.
“Getting to the tournament, you got to be able to keep your head up, but you’re going to make mistakes you just got to play through it. We are striving to win that tournament in Chattanooga and go on to the national tournament,” said Lynn.
Students can keep up with the Pioneers softball team on Twitter @VSCCPioneersSB.