FAYETTEVILLE — The University of Arkansas softball team took to Bogle Park Thursday for the initial practice of the 2011-12 season. The Razorbacks practiced together in the afternoon drill session as a full squad for the first time, receiving directions from third-year head coach Mike Larabee and his staff.
Larabee readily expressed his excitement for this year’s squad. He went on to mention the opportunity the fall season provides in regards to building a great team atmosphere.
“It’s great to have everyone there at one time,” Larabee said. “The energy levels have been amazing. The enthusiasm is there. It’s already a tight-knit group so far, which is always a positive.”
Prior to the fall softball season beginning, Arkansas’ coaches are allowed to conduct individual workouts. The exhibition schedule provides the Razorbacks’ coaching staff time to work with returning players and the chance to evaluate the talents of newcomers.
In the areas of pitching and hitting, Larabee has liked what he’s seen from the UA team.
“The pitchers have been very, very impressive,” Larabee said. “They have had a great work ethic so far. I’m very excited about where our hitters are at right now. A lot more balls have been leaving the yard, along with extra base hits.”
Larabee made note of the Razorbacks’ defense, highlighting the efforts of Arkansas’ infielders.
“When we worked out our infielders individually, it was the best workout we’ve had in two years,” Larabee said. “We only had a short time, but they look really good.
UA softball fans are invited to come out and see the squad in action this fall. The Razorbacks’ first fall game is set for Sept. 15, matching Arkansas up against Northeastern Oklahoma A&M at 5 p.m. at Bogle Park.