The Sam Houston State Bearkat softball team will play the 2017 season without its leading slugger from last year, senior Breanna Homer.
Homer, a four-year Bearkat volleyball letter-winner and a one-year softball player for SHSU, will not join the team this season due to completing an internship.
“She was All-Conference for us last year and she brought a lot to the table,” head coach Bob Brock said. “We’d like to have her back and I know it was a hard decision for her, but that’s what happened, she took an internship.”
The All-Southland Conference third baseman was one of the Bearkats’ most productive players at the plate in 2016. Homer led the team in batting average (.348), home runs (10), runs batted in (41), slugging percentage (.627), on base percentage (.435) and trailed only recent graduate Dani Allen in total hits (56).
Brock and the Bearkats are expecting senior infielder Tori Koerselman to fill the big shoes Homer left. The local product from Huntsville missed the past two years due to multiple knee surgeries.
“We have Tori Koerselman back,” Brock said. “She’s back on the team and she is right there with Breanna [Homer] as far as hitting and fielding. We filled it [the hole Homer left] pretty adequately.”
Through six games, Koerselman seems to be meeting those expectations. She ranks fifth in the conference in batting average (.421), accumulating eight hits in 19 at bats and is second on the team in runs batted with three total.
The Bearkats will look to even their 2-4 overall record today with a non-conference doubleheader against the University of Texas at San Antonio Roadrunners at the Bearkat Softball Complex. The two games will be the Kats’ first home games of the season.
The first game is set to begin at 3 p.m. and the second game is scheduled for 5 p.m.