Pack Softball Returns to Florida for Weekend Tournament
Feb. 14, 2013
Tournament info| Link to LiveStats page
South Florida 4-Team Tournament
TAMPA, Fla. -- After a successful opening weekend in Miami, the NC State softball team returns to the Sunshine State this weekend to participate in the South Florida 4-Team Tournament, beginning on Friday at 11:30 a.m. against No. 4 Tennessee.
The Pack will face host and No. 12 ranked South Florida at 4:15 p.m. on Friday and play Coastal Carolina on Saturday at 11 a.m. The teams will then be seeded and paired in semifinal games on Saturday evening, with the consolation and championship games being played on Sunday.
All games will be available on the above LiveStats link. Games involving South Florida will be live streamed on BullsCast, a premium package available at www.gousfbulls.com. A one-month subscription is available for $10.95.
For first-year Wolfpack coach Shawn Rychcik, another five-game tournament is an opportunity to improve on the good work from the season-opening weekend, against an even stronger field.
On Sunday in Miami, the Wolfpack (4-1) beat Kansas 3-2 in the championship game of the FIU Panther Invitational, behind the pitching of sophomore Emily Weiman and a game-winning solo homer by freshman Hanna Sommer to cap off a successful debut for Rychcik and his new charges.
The Pack also scored a pair of wins over host FIU and one over Georgetown in the season opener, with Weiman picking up the decision in all four wins. State's lone loss was an 8-0 setback against Kansas.
"I was happy with the way our team competed last weekend, especially in bouncing back against Kansas," Rychcik said. "The team was eager to get another shot at them, and they did a great job of coming back to get that win.
"I liked the competitive fight they showed all weekend."
The Pack practiced twice on its home field on State's campus before heading back to Florida on Thursday morning, leaving the team with a short week to make tweaks and adjustments. Rychcik and his squad spent time honing their defense against slaps and bunts, something the coach thinks his team will see a lot of this weekend.
"We spent some time Tuesday working on our short game," Rychcik said. "We think Tennessee and South Florida will try to put some pressure on our defense and we wanted to work on shoring up that part of our defense and our communication."
Rychcik expects that defense will be a key for his team all season long. The Pack is still young in the infield, with sophomore Renada Davis at shortstop and freshman Lana Van Dyken at third base. Fifth-year senior Katie Mansilla is in her first season as a starter at second base, while junior Leah Jones is in her second at first base.
"I think our defense can be our strong point the rest of the way out," Rychcik said. "They had a good defensive team last year. We have some new people and a new system of doing things this year, but as long as we are thinking out there and know what we are doing, we can be a step ahead of things.
"I think our defense will be pretty good all year."
Follow the Pack all season on Twitter (@PackSoftball) or like the official NC State Softball page on Facebook. Game results, box scores and statistics will be available at www.gopack.com/softball shortly after every game.