Nicholls softball determined to bring in winning culture

The 2015 Nicholls State University softball team is determined to bring a winning culture this season despite being a young squad with the new season already underway.

The Colonels are pushing to improve what was a long season last year. After winning the 2015 Lion Classic held at Southeastern Louisiana University last weekend, Nicholls hopes to set a winning and focused attitude this year.

Angel Santiago is entering his fourth season as the head coach of the softball team, and he feels the team has developed a sense of maturity and dedication.

Santiago believes his squad grew up from last season, and is more prepared to compete.

“Basically we grew up,” Santiago said. “One thing Coach J. and I really enjoyed was watching our players work by taking pride in skills and really appreciating them.”

Assistant Coach Jessica Seamon, who’s also entering her fourth season coaching the Colonels, prides the young squad. Seamon also praises the new additions to the team that she said could help spark what turns out to be an exciting season.

“The big thing that our transfers bring this year to the program is that they all came from winning programs. They know how to win, and they know how to work to win. That’s something they are helping us infuse,:that push.” Seamon said.

One feature the softball team introduced this season was the focus on not only physical fitness, but also paying attention to the mental health of the players on the team. The coaching staff emphasized the importance of growth of each player, both on the field and off. A sports psychologist was brought into the program where the players get about 10 minutes a day just working on mental thoughts and training.

“We brought that into the program because I felt like it was something we needed and could help,” Santiago said.

This is the first season under Santiago that a sport psychologist has been introduced to the program.

“The girls raised their own money to have the program, so it shows how much they want it,” Santiago said.

This weekend, the Colonels will travel to Samford University in, Birmingham, Alabama where they will compete in their second tournament of the season. The lady Colonels will open up the tournament play against Murray State Friday and will face the hosting team on Valentines Day.

“I don’t want anyone to limit this team because they don’t have all the answers yet, but they are working hard to find them,” Santiago said.

As Nicholls’ young softball team continues going forward into this season, consistency and working together will remain the focal points.

“We’re still technically pretty young, but with all that experience last year and the adversity of not knowing what to expect, now we know what to expect,” Seamon said.