PREVIEW: Cowgirls gearing up 2022 season, aiming for another title run

Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 11:15 PM CST
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Welcome to Cowgirl diamond where the McNeese cowgirls are preparing for the 2022 softball season. Coming off the heels of a southland conference championship win and an NCAA appearance it’s understandable that the expectations are high for this team, but head coach James Landreneau is confident that his team will be prepared for what’s to come this season.

“This group right here is a very selfless group,” said Landreneau. “They know what they want to achieve and they know it’s going to take everybody to achieve it so, when you watch this team there’s no ego’s everybody knows what the end goal is and what the mission is and they’re ready to accomplish it as a unit.”

The unit that led the Cowgirls to the NCAA Tournament a season ago, the pitching staff, returns its ace in Whitney Tate after she picked up 14 wins a season ago.

“Whitney Tate is coming back after just a great freshman campaign last year and so we expect big things,” Landreneau said. “Ashley Vallejo is going to have some maturity under her she’s doing well.”

Tate was a pivotal part to the Cowgirls post season run last year. Her goal is to keep being a force in the circle this season.

“Not take any pitch off we’ve worked really hard in the off-season coming back. Just to be able to go out there and dominate the strike zone attack hitters and really have a plan at the plate,” said sophomore pitcher Whitney Tate.

McNeese further bolstered its rotation this offseason with transfers like Memphis pitcher Olivia Johnson. Her addition along with Kendall Talley and Josie Willingham should prove to be solid injections of talent.

Although, a Lake Area native has shined the most to Landreneau.

“I’ll tell you who’s really stood out this fall camp has been Jil Poullard,” said Landreneau. “Jil Poullard’s been able to add some speed some power. We moved her to a new position from the outfield she’s playing third base.

Poullard is entering her sophomore campaign and has already shown an unselfishness to help her team. The Moss Bluff native said she was ready to accept the challenge when Landreneau talked to her about it when the pokes reported for fall camp.

“It was actually right before we returned, he just let me know face to face hey I’m going to need you in the infield I’m going to need you at third base this season and I just said ok I’m ready for it,” said Poullard.

It will be time to officially play ball next month during the Cowgirl Classic on February 11 when the cowgirls line up to take on Texas Southern.

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