It may still be winter, but spring is in the air at Northeast Texas Community College as the Eagles baseball and softball teams gear up for the spring seasons. Baseball kicked off the pre-season with a home series against Cowley College Feb. 1-2. The softball team also kicked off the season Feb. 2 with two wins over Hill College (4-12, 0-8).
Eagles Baseball had a solid season last year and have nine returning sophomores. These include Tyler Navarro, Jordan Martinez and Andrew Skivington, who received all-conference honors as freshmen. They recruited 26 new players. Head Coach, Andy Morgan, said their returning pitchers bring a lot of depth to the mound and there is a solid crop of new players just waiting to prove themselves.
“Here at NTCC we expect to compete for the conference championship every year and have a chance to win the region tournament. We have experience on the mound as well as depth. We are going to play defense fundamentally sound. Offensively, we are very athletic and will have the ability to put a lot of pressure on the opposing defense,” Morgan said.
Baseball will open conference play at home on February 28 against Bossier Parish Community College.
Eagles Softball has 12 returning sophomores and eight new freshmen. Returners include sophomore pitchers Mackensie Mankel from Hurst, Kara Carter from Whtie Oak and Jamie Franks from Arlington.
“All three of these pitchers contributed last year. With the talent and experience, I have high expectations from our staff. We return eight starters from last year, which is rare in JUCO,” Jessica Keith, NTCC Head Softball Coach, said. “That experience gives confidence to begin the season.”
Korbyn Bassett of Palestine and Haylee Wilson of Hughes Springs bring a lot of power to the lineup as well. Keith said the team is loaded with athletic, hardworking young ladies who will balance the team from top to bottom.
Morgan Catron recently came on board as the new assistant coach. A native east Texan, Catron graduated from Mineola High School and had a great career at McNeese State University.
“Morgan will really balance our coaching staff. She’s fresh out of college, so she brings young energy to our program and the girls have really enjoyed picking her brain. I am excited to have her join us this year,” Keith said.
Visit www.ntcceagles.com to view rosters, schedules, results and more. Both teams are also on Twitter @ntcc_baseball and @ntccsoftball.