Trojan softball hosts MSU on Sunday

Published 10:55 pm Friday, September 25, 2015

The Troy Trojans softball team kicks off the fall season Sunday afternoon with a double-header against Mississippi State starting at 2 p.m.

The two games Sunday begin an eight game schedule that will be played across four different weekends. After starting the season against Mississippi State, the Trojans will play Wallace-Hansville, Northwest Florida, Auburn University-Montgomery and Gulf Coast Community College.

Head coach Beth Mullins is excited to get things going this Sunday.

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“I am looking forward to getting out there,” Mullins said. “We have been kind of playing against ourselves a lot, and I’m excited about getting our girls out there against another opponent.”

Mississippi State brings a high-profile SEC program to Troy, and Mullins said this is an excellent opportunity for the Trojans to test their mettle.

“I think it’s kind of exciting. We try and not worry about what the jersey says. Hopefully the girls take care of the process and do the little things right. It doesn’t matter who you are playing, any time you can play someone other than ourselves, they’re excited,” she said.

Mullins does have a connection with Mississippi State, having coached with the Bulldogs from 2012-2014. Mullins is excited to be able to compete against a mentor of hers in head coach Vann Stuedeman.

“I have coached at Mississippi State before,” Mullins said. “I have a lot of respect for their team. I obviously coached and worked for Stuedeman over there and she is a huge mentor of mine. She is one of the reasons I am over here and that’s another exciting part of it.”

The fall camp and season are important opportunities to improve, Mullins said. Games like the ones this Sunday will give Mullins the opportunity to see just how far her team has come.

“The fall in my opinion is the most important time of the year,” Mullins said. “Everybody thinks about the spring because that’s when you’re playing, but the preparation that you do and determining how quickly they pick up concepts all happens in the fall.”

Mullins is entering her second year as Trojans head coach. After a year of teaching the culture and figuring out an identity, Mullins is going to use the fall season to move forward as a program.

“I have a great group of girls,” Mullins said. “It doesn’t matter how good of a coach you are if you don’t have a group of girls that are not going to buy in. We work hard and life weights everyday and then they come out here and practice. Fall is when you really find out what kind of team your going to have.”

The fall camp gives not only Mullins and the coaching staff the ability to assess the talent of the team but it also gives the players themselves the chance assess themselves.

“They are becoming their own best coaches,” Mullins said. “They are making much bigger adjustments this year.

“We have five freshman and they have been able to come on much quicker because of the upperclassman have been teaching them what they were taught last year.”

Mullins is hoping the community comes out and supports the Trojans on Sunday and is confident the players will put on a good show for those who attend.

“I think a lot of people found out last year that it is an exciting atmosphere. Our girls play with a lot of energy. They appreciate the fan support,” she said.

“We always go up into the stands after the game to sign autographs. They are exciting to watch.”