New-look Shockers take the field for 5-game tournament

Wichita+State%27s+Bailey+Lange+pitches+during+their+game+against+OU+at+Marita+Hynes+Field+on+April+11%2C+2018.
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New-look Shockers take the field for 5-game tournament

Wichita State's Bailey Lange pitches during their game against OU at Marita Hynes Field on April 11, 2018.

Wichita State's Bailey Lange pitches during their game against OU at Marita Hynes Field on April 11, 2018.

Joseph Barringhaus

Wichita State's Bailey Lange pitches during their game against OU at Marita Hynes Field on April 11, 2018.

Joseph Barringhaus

Joseph Barringhaus

Wichita State's Bailey Lange pitches during their game against OU at Marita Hynes Field on April 11, 2018.

Kristi Bredbenner has high expectations for her team this season.

Wichita State softball begins its season Friday with a double-header, as the team plays in a three-day tournament. Bredbenner said the team has “all of the ingredients for success,” but this weekend’s tournament will put to the test whether the team can piece those ingredients together correctly.

“We bring back a core group,” Bredbenner said, “but whether or not we can put everything together this weekend will be the deciding factor.”

WSU is seeking another deep post-season run, having advanced to a NCAA Regional final game last season. WSU brings in a few new faces to the roster this year — including four freshmen and transfers Wiley Glover and Erin McDonald. Bredbenner is happy that the new faces are “starting to figure things out.”

Bredbenner is seeking returning players to step up and acclimate the team’s four freshmen and two transfers. 

“The returners are being great leaders, they’re leading by example,” Bredbenner said. “They’re continuing to step up their game as well.”

Neiman Thompson
Wichita State’s Bailey Lange pitches during their game against Central Oklahoma on Sept. 30, 2018 at Wilkins Stadium.

The new-look Shockers are already starting to earn national recognition. The team is ranked No. 17 in the country according to Softball America, No. 33 in NCAA RPI, and are receiving votes in both the ESPN and USA Today Polls.

“The preseason polls are great buzz to get the season going,” Bredbenner said. “It’s an honor that, based on last year’s success, that we are at that point. But it doesn’t say anything when you haven’t played a game yet.”

WSU starts its season off  against Central Michigan and Virginia Tech, and will continue play on Saturday with games versus Pittsburgh and College of Charleston before finishing off the weekend Sunday against Pittsburgh again. 

“We’re all excited to get out there — players, coaches, all of us,” Bredbenner said. “We want to see what we can prove this year.”