Lady Colonels look to shock Freedom Conference

Brandon Gubitosa, Staff Writer

Entering his 14th season at Wilkes University, woman’s softball coach Frank Matthews is looking forward to this upcoming season. With 240 wins, Matthews is the all time winningest coach in school history.

In his tenure here, he has made the postseason six times, including a berth in the NCAA tournament in 2006.

Wilkes plans to bounce back from last season after going 17-23. Matthews said he is looking forward to the challenge after losing both of his starting pitchers, second baseman, shortstop and centerfielder.

“We are young up the middle this season,” said Matthews when referring to the losses.

Seven players from last season are returning to the team, and this year’s team is welcoming in nine freshman.

“The returners are fine, we know what we are getting from them,” Matthews said. “It is going to be an adjustment for freshman to get used to. They are going to have to walk before they run. We are going to have to find the position that is best for them.”

Though the pre-season power rankings have not yet been released, Matthews expects them to possibly be ranked sixth or seventh.

“The players know where we stand,” he said. “They understand that not a lot of teams respect them. We have to do a lot of rebuilding to get back to where we were.”

The team officially began practice on Monday, and it plays its first game Feb. 28 in Virginia Beach.

The Virginia Wesleyan College Beach Blast tournament is a three-day tournament and the Colonels will play six games. Last season, Wilkes went 3-3 with wins over York College, Rutgers-Camden and Shenandoah.

The Lady Colonels’ home opener is March 12 when they square off against the University of Scranton in a double header. Wilkes won both matchups last season against the Royals.

The Lady Colonels begin Freedom Conference play on March 15 with a double header against Eastern University. Last season they went 5-9 in conference play and look to improve on that record this season.

On April 5 they square off against rival King’s College in a double header at the Ralston Athletic Complex. Then, on April 26 they travel up to Dallas to take on Misericordia University.

To end the regular season they then travel to Scranton for a double header against Marywood University.

The team will be looking to make the postseason this season for the first time since 2009. The future is bright for the Lady Colonels as they will look to shock the conference this upcoming season.