By Ryan Miller
Under the direction of new head coach Ashley Balazs, Viterbo University’s softball team has already surpassed last season’s wins. Currently, the V-Hawks are 5-11 after trips to Rochester, Minn. and Tucson, Ariz.
In Rochester, the team did not end up with a win, but their trip to Arizona was a different story. The V-Hawks had five wins in Tucson. Two of their wins were against stiff competition in 10-6 Indian Weseleyan and 12-9 University of Great Falls.
“I am looking forward to seeing the team continue to grow,” Balazs told Lumen. “I am a firm believer in the process of success and I believe the girls’ hard work will pay off as we get farther into our season.”
Balazs took over the softball program as head coach in November replacing Andrea Tsilis. Tsilis left Viterbo, because she accepted a job in Chapin, S.C. as a program coordinator for the recreation program.
“The five seniors have been instrumental in my transition to Viterbo,” Balazs said. “As a new coach it is always helpful to inherit senior leadership. Since day one, they have bought into my vision and plan.
“The first priority of any new coach is always to change the culture and environment to fit their specific style,” Balazs said. “In order to turn this program around, time and energy must be invested every single day.”
Conference play for the V-Hawks starts on March 22 against AIB College of Business. According to the preseason polls for the Midwest Collegiate Conference Viterbo is picked to finish sixth.
“Preseason polls are based on the past and do not take into account offseason preparation,” Balazs said. “I am not concerned about where we stand now, only where we end up.
“My goals for this season are to compete and improve every day,” Balazs said. “In order to do that we must approach each day with a purpose and continue to move forward.”
photo of Coach Ashley Balazs retrieved from athletic website