A lengthy drought from competing at the state softball tournament came to an end for the Longmont Trojans last season.
From being a team hovering around .500 in recent years, the Trojans improved to 18-8-1 with a breakout season. Their run ended at the state tournament with a tough 14-1 loss to the Erie Tigers, but the trip to Aurora has provided a spark for the team entering fall camp in 2019.
“It feels awesome to be back, especially coming from the state tournament,” Angeline Mitchell said. “It was a great tournament overall. Coming out from that, the team and chemistry, it’s exciting for this year.”
Mitchell was one of the stars for the Trojans in their breakout season. She led the way hitting .481 and driving in 15 runs, both top marks for the team. In addition to her performance at the plate, Mitchell was the ace in the rotation and went 15-7 with a 5.32 ERA.
With a big season last year, Mitchell knows she will be one of the key players called on to lead the team in their quest back to the state tournament.
“I think I need to be more vocal,” Mitchell said. “Being in the circle, it’s easy to talk to people on the field and encourage the younger players to step up and work hard.”
So far, Mitchell has proven to be more of a vocal leader, working with younger players in drills and leading the team in warm-ups and other parts of practice.
Longmont as a whole will also be tasked with playing as a team expected to do more than before. After flying under the radar as a .500 team, the Trojans now come into the season with heightened expectations for themselves and from their opponents, putting them in new territory they have not been in for some time. It’s a test the team says they are excited to take on.
To achieve the same high level of play while competing in the Northern League, Mitchell believes that the team must maintain the same level of focus for each situation in the game in order to see similar results.
“I think a lot of what was emphasized was working hard and pushing each other every day, resetting for every pitch and things like that,” Mitchell said. “Working on that stuff and our mentality will take us to that next level.”
More importantly, Mitchell says she and her teammates will keep it simple and not over-think the expectations on their shoulders so they can stay loose and enjoy the new season coming up.
“I want to have fun mostly,” Mitchell said. “I feel like that’s when I do my best is when I have fun with my team. It’s mostly that, but there are some other goals I have. I want to get all-conference again.”
The season begins for the Trojans on Aug. 20 with a road game against the Mead Mavericks. The first home game is scheduled for Aug. 29 against the Centaururs Warriors.