Shelby Babcock is looking forward to an exciting spring for this year's Arizona softball team.
Feb. 7, 2013
By Jordan Clifton
Shelby Babcock is looking forward to an exciting spring for this year's Arizona softball team. Working hard on and off the field, Babcock has a good feeling about the season. A junior from Colorado, she has two years under her belt and feels that this season is the team's time to shine. The rejuvenated team chemistry will help the Wildcats even more this season, after a solid offseason of skill development and training.
"This season I am looking forward to playing with all the girls," Babcock said. "We mix very well and we have really good team chemistry. I am really excited and pumped up. Mainly because of the girls I am playing with. I absolutely adore each and every one of them."
This season is a fresh start for Babcock and she sees something new in the atmosphere. With an easy adjustment to the new personnel on the team, the 2013 season outlook is promising to Babcock and head coach Mike Candrea.
"We have a completely different group of girls," Babcock said. "We have eight returners and eight new people so it's going to be a lot different. To be on the field is going to be really exciting."
In 2012, Babcock limited her opponents to a .240 batting average with 164 strikeouts. She has a tough role being a pitcher but has been focusing on key elements to her game in practice.
"I have been working a lot on getting my pitches to move and going at the batters," Babcock said. "Also having fun, being there for my team and being a leader, on and off the field."
Babcock says that her main focus for this year during the games is to take one batter at a time, not to think too far ahead in the game. She is not only focusing on herself but on the team, as well.
"We really want to have fun, and go out and play ball," Babcock said. "Try not to make the game so hard on ourselves. Take it, one pitch, one inning, one game at a time."
The goal for this team is to take one thing at a time whether it be hitting, fielding, or pitching.
Additionally, Babcock has set some personal goals for this season. She wants to get better every time she takes the mound and to serve in a leadership role. She sees the importance of a leader to a team mixed with youth and experience, and has felt the support of her teammates during her time in the circle.
"It's nice to have to support of the other pitchers because we are all so different," Babcock said. "We all have different pitches and our best pitches are all different so it's nice to have that, too."
Depth at the pitching position is something the Wildcats have lacked in recent seasons but some key roster additions have allowed the squad to train a rotation of hurlers this fall, one of the keys to success expected by Babcock and Candrea.
Along with the new players on the team, the Wildcats have also added a new pitching coach, Alicia Hollowell, a former Wildcat herself.
"It's amazing having Alicia coach me," Babcock said. "She can be there as support and still be very stern. The fact that she is so outgoing with what she does on the field and she has been in our spot, it is reassuring that she can be there for us all the time."
Babcock is learning from Hollowell to be more confident in herself and know that she can succeed on the field.
"Alicia has even told me, `Sometimes I feel like I have more confidence in you than you do yourself'," said Babcock.
As Babcock's confidence rises, typically, so does her performance.
The Wildcats will compete in the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz., Feb. 8-10, with games vs. Northwestern, Bradley, Cal Poly, San Diego State and Florida.