The student led, student read news organization at Georgia Southern University

The George-Anne Media Group

The student led, student read news organization at Georgia Southern University

The George-Anne Media Group

The student led, student read news organization at Georgia Southern University

The George-Anne Media Group

Early Season Check-in With Coach Perkins

We interview Coach Sharon Perkins to talk about the season and expectations looking ahead. 


Q: Looking ahead at the schedule you will play Power 5 teams like Louisville and USF. Outside of those teams you also have the competition in conference, and I want to know who you think will be the toughest opponents for you all. 


A: “They’re all good name teams. You know on any day it is anybody’s ballgame. That’s why you go out and play the game and it doesn’t really matter. Obviously, Louisville’s 12-2 and they’re a good solid team. In South Florida they’ve had the same head coach forever, so when you have coaches that are at a place and are able to build a program it does make a difference. We’re playing in the Sunbelt and it is no joke. There’s not really an off weekend, that’s good competition.”


Q: We’re only 18 games into the season but who has surprised you the most until this point?


A: “I think some of the freshmen have really stepped up in some clutch situations. Kelsey Harper had some opportunities early on and she finds a way in gameplay even when we’re doing intrasquad scrimmages before we started playing real games. She’d come through in the clutch and kind of hold down third and so she’s gotten some playing time. But other kids are doing what I thought they could do. Anslie Pettit is doing a great job pitching-wise but coming into it I knew she would be able to do those things. There have been some people that have been stepping up, so I’ve been seeing different flashes of different people, which is cool to watch.” 


Q: It’s early in the season, but can you describe your goals and milestones for the season?


A: “We’re just trying to take it in game by game, really inning by inning. We’re trying to put a run up an inning and shut down the opponents every inning. We are focusing on those little things and they will add up along the way. Obviously we are chomping at the bit to get into the conference tournament. Not everybody gets a spot so you have to fight to get in.”

Q: Who is the defensive anchor on this team?


A: “I see different people making different plays so it’s hard to say. Emma Davis is phenomenal in the outfield, she’s a great communicator. She covers a lot of ground. Jess Mazur is out there in right field and she’s got a cannon for an arm, so you know people aren’t going to run on her. Janai Conklin has been steady beyond the plate. Gracie Bellard has been awesome. I thought she’d come in a do a good job but for her to catch every other game and give Janai a break, and she also plays left field. Katie Perkins has been steady at first, and Courtney Ball was pretty steady at short. I don’t know if there’s any one anchor, they all step up and work hard every day.”


Q: Offensively who do you think you guys lean on?


A: “Different people. When we started out Emma was hot. Faith was squaring up balls and maybe not getting the outcome she wanted. Gracie was swinging the bat super hot. Some other people I think are kind of getting pitched around because they were some of our better hitters in the past. I think they need to be aggressive on certain pitches and maybe more patient in certain areas just to get some better pitch selection.”


Q: If you guys had one word or mindset that you want everybody to keep as you go throughout the season what would it be?  


A: “Get Gritty. We are a gritty team and they work hard every day, we push them. They have expectations and consequences put on them every single day, so they are feisty. I want a resilient team and I want to coach a team that is gritty because I don’t want somebody to come in here and think they are going to take over the park. I like a blue-collar gritty team.”


What’s next:  The Georgia Southern Softball team returns home this week after an upset win against USF in the USF tournament. They look to continue their excellent home record against Buffalo and Winthrop. The Eagles are 12-6 on the season and hope to use this weekend to propel themselves into conference play that following week. 

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