The State Fair Community College (SFCC) Lady Roadrunners Softball team have been busy preparing for the upcoming season.

SFCC has been anxiously awaiting the start of the new campaign since last season ended unexpectedly in March due to COVID-19. This year’s season was postponed until this spring.

“Practices have been going well,” said SFCC Softball Head Coach Lyndsey Talbot. “The girls are eager to get on the field. We have been able to get outside two or three days with good weather, other than that we have been inside, but practices have been productive. I am proud of the team. Our sophomores are eager after having only a taste of college softball last season."

SFCC is scheduled to open the season on February 27 with a doubleheader against Independence Community College at home at Mandy Thomas Field inside Centennial Park. The Lady Roadrunners are scheduled to open the Region 16 portion of their schedule on Mar. 11 with a doubleheader against North Central Missouri College at home.

Coach Talbot wants to employ the same style of softball that fans are used to seeing from her teams.

“We are going to be a team that relies on our defense,” said Talbot. “We don’t necessarily have strikeout pitchers. We are going to be emphasizing solid defense. We have make routine plays and not allow teams extra bases."

Leadership from the players on this year’s squad will vary.

“It is a great mix of kids,” said Talbot. “We have some silent leaders who just come in and get the job done. We have Brooke Conner of Sweet Springs who is a leader offensively for us, along with Alexis Gilliland of Jefferson City. Summer Collier of Oak Grove is a defensive leader for us. We’ve also had some freshmen come in and lead for us like Allie Ferrell of Columbia and Ellie Eckert of Auxvasse, they’re kind of quiet but, they definitely lead by example."

Coach Talbot believes that Haley Mackey of Lincoln will also be key to the team this year since she can play the infield as well as catch.

SFCC will face another challenging schedule this season.

“We play a lot of the Jayhawk Conference schools,” said Talbot. “We are going to play a couple of nationally ranked teams in our non-region schedule. When you get to our region schedule, Jefferson, Crowder, and Three Rivers are always either nationally ranked or on the cusp of being nationally ranked. It will definitely be a good non-region schedule to get us prepared for region play."

Coach Talbot has both on and off the field goals for her team this season.
“As always, we want to win another NJCAA Academic Team Award,” said Talbot. “Our defense has to do the job and make the routine plays in support of our pitchers. Our team is a hard-working group that is starting to understand that little things add up."

Coach Talbot sees a couple of keys to success for her team to accomplish those goals.
“We’re going to have to stay together,” said Talbot. “I told them we are going to have ups and downs throughout the season, but it is going to come down to how we respond and how we fight throughout the entire seven innings. We are also going to have to stay healthy.”

--David Rohrbach, SFCC Athletics