COLUMBIA, SC: Women's softball head coach Lauren Spohn has seen her fair share of success since joining the Hawks program and is coming off an OCAA silver medal in only her second season at the helm. Before the season begins, Spohn's student-athletes take an annual road trip to build team chemistry on and off the diamond.
"We deliberately and carefully plan the exhibition season so we can try to play as many high-quality programs as possible," Coach Spohn said.
"In the exhibition season, there's a possibility that we take a few losses, but that is really secondary to the process," said assistant coach Duaine Bowles. "We want to constantly push ourselves and begin to implement the new skillsets developed during the offseason."
This February, the Hawks will head south on a road trip to compete against some of the best softball programs in the United States. Two years ago, the women's softball team had a successful trip in South Carolina after going 5-3 and will be looking to improve on those results this time around.
Last season, the Hawks took a trip Cooperstown, New York, the birthplace of baseball and home of the Baseball Hall of Fame. After experiencing the long tradition of America's pastime, the Hawks split a double header with NJCAA powerhouse Herkimer Generals.
"Any time you can go on an exhibition tour, it gives your program a tremendous edge," continued Bowles. "It allows your team to jell and mesh. When you spend that time away, it's a great bonding opportunity. Those kinds of relationships always pay dividends at the end of the season."
The trip will have the Hawks competing in five double-headers, with the first scheduled on February 14th against the Columbia Cougars in the NAIA. Two of the biggest games for Humber will be against NCAA Division 1 programs, South Carolina State and Winthrop University.
Winthrop will be playing a heavy schedule this season, including a game against the defending national champions, Florida Gators. The connection between Winthrop and Humber is former Winthrop All-American Lisa Kingsmore, who was previously an assistant coach with the Hawks.
In the end, the trip will be a total of 11 days, playing ten games, and travelling over 3,000 kilometers in pursuit of creating that unbreakable team bond.
For a full schedule of the South Carolina road trip, click here.