Story courtesy: McMurry Athletics
McMurry University head softball coach David McNally announced the 2021 softball schedule on Monday, as the War Hawks look to build on a first place finish in the West Division standings last season.
The current schedule includes 36 games with 22 of those to take place at the newly-opened Edwards Field on McMurry’s campus.
Last season, the War Hawks had a 13-2 overall record and were 8-1 in American Southwest Conference games before the COVID-19 pandemic brought the campaign to a halt.
“We have all been eager to start playing softball again,” said McNally. “The team is looking very similar to last season with the addition of a very talented group of freshmen – four outfielders and an infielder. Everyone is ready to pick up where we left off last season. Having the game taken away, in its own odd way, has given us all a better appreciation for what we have and the realization that nothing tomorrow is promised.”
The majority of the 2020 roster returns for the upcoming season, including a lineup that ranked second in the conference with a .344 batting average and .533 slugging percentage. Despite playing the fewest innings among ASC teams last year, the pitching staff led the ASC in strikeouts looking (28) and third in wins (13) and earned run average (2.77).
McNally said he believes the team has learned many lessons from this offseason and is ready to face this year’s schedule head-on.
“It has been an emotional summer and fall semester, but softball and the preparation back to playing has been the glue holding us together,” he said. “The seniors have set our motto for the year to be ‘Trust the Process,’ which is a phrase coined by motivational speaker Inky Johnson. We will have a lot of new processes this season, obstacles on and off the field, but if we trust our process and stick to it, nothing can shake us.”
The team begins on the road in San Antonio against Trinity University on Feb. 13 for a double-header. The following week, McMurry will have four home games to re-open Edwards Field with double-headers against University of Dallas (Feb. 19) and Schreiner University (Feb. 20).
Conference play begins on Feb. 26-27 with a three-game road series at Louisiana College. On March 5-6, the War Hawks will host Belhaven University for its first home ASC series.
The War Hawks are also planning to co-host the Abilene Spring Break Tournament with Hardin-Simmons University on March 10-13. McMurry will host four games on Wednesday, March 10 and three games Thursday, March 11. The War Hawks will play twice on Wednesday against St. Thomas and once against Centenary College on Thursday.
Returning to conference play after spring break, McMurry will have a highly-touted home series against East Texas Baptist on March 26-27. Other home series includes Concordia-Texas (April 9-10), Mary Hardin-Baylor (April 16-17) and crosstown rival Hardin-Simmons (April 30-May 1).
The home series against HSU will be the first meeting between the two rivals to take place at Edwards Field.
The American Southwest Conference Championship tournament is scheduled to begin May 6 at a location to be determined at the end of the regular season.
All times and dates are subject to change. Home games could be limited by capacity. Mask wearing and social distancing procedures will be announced prior to the season opener.