The University of Indianapolis’ softball team begins its season on Feb. 10, where they will be competing at the University of Alabama in the Huntsville Charger Chillout, according to UIndy Athletics. The team finished last season 48-10, suffering a loss in the championship game of the Greater Lakes Valley Conference tournament, and later advanced to the NCAA Division II National tournament, where they lost in the first round, according to the NCAA. This year, Head Coach Melissa Frost said the team’s goal is to bring a national title to UIndy and compete to the best of their ability.
“I think [winning a national championship] is obviously our goal year-in and year-out,” Frost said. “Win the regular season conference and then win the conference tournament, and then make our way to the World Series that way.”
Junior pitcher Kenzee Smith said that one of her goals is to enjoy her last two years playing softball for UIndy.
“Personally, I really want to enjoy these last two years,” Smith said. “I’ve put a lot of pressure on myself to perform a certain way, and I think sometimes that hinders me because I start stressing out.”
In addition to enjoying the latter half of her collegiate softball career, Smith said that she hopes to live up to expectations, including ranking among the top 11 pitchers in Division II.
“It’s a great honor, so I think anything I can do, on and off the field to resemble whatever they’re seeing—that’s basically what I’m shooting for right now,” Smith said.
According to Frost, the current team has an impressive work ethic, which she hopes will carry them to a national championship. She said there is offensive power in this team to complement their All-American pitcher and their All-American catcher, as well as a rock-solid defense behind them.
“I think that this team is really a team that works,” Frost said. “And I think that something that we’ve seen a lot here in the spring season so far is just the work ethic. They get in, they do the work and they get out.”
In addition to the work ethic on the field, Frost said the team also works extremely hard in the classroom. According to UIndy Softball’s Instagram, the team had a cumulative grade-point average of 3.8 in the fall 2022 semester, which Frost hopes will continue moving forward into the spring.
Following the team’s loss to the University of Southern Indiana in the GLVC Tournament finals last season, Smith said it stung, but that it also gave the team a new drive to be competitive with other teams, as well as each other. Frost said that although the team could not pull out a win, the game against USI was one of the better games they had played all year and it spring-boarded them into the national tournament.
“When we left the field that day, we felt very good about how we played, regardless of whether it was a win or a loss,” Frost said. “We felt like it was up to the standard of our program. We measure wins and
losses not necessarily by wins and losses, but [rather] if they meet the standard of our program.”
Smith said this season’s UIndy softball team will be exciting to watch and will be different than it has been in past years.
“We did lose a lot of seniors and we’re pretty young,” Smith said. “But I also think we’re eager and ready to be on the field. And I think that’s going to bring a lot of hustle, a lot of effort.”
Frost and Smith both said they are excited for the season to start, and hope to see a good showing of students and faculty at their home games. Their first home game is Mar. 19 against McKendree, according to UIndy Athletics.