Softball Preview: Grambling State


2016 Record and Result: 5-31 (2-16 SWAC), Fifth in SWAC Western Division

Key Returners: Kendalyn Arceneaux, Hailey Haynes, Mercedes Williams

Key Losses: Juliana Dominguez

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Grambling State Tigers head into 2017 looking to move on out of the Western Division’s cellar.

The Lady Tigers only have one senior on the team – pitcher Alexus Brown – so the best may be yet to come for head coach Wilbert Early’s group. However, before that takes place, Grambling State will have to improve on last season’s less-than-stellar results, which saw the Tigers rank at or near the bottom of several statistical categories.

Kendalyn Arceneaux was the team’s brightest spot last season and enters her junior season as the likely catalyst for the team’s plans offensively. Arceneaux posted a .291 batting average as she led the Tigers in every offensive category last season.

However, for the Tigers to make some moves, names like Hailey Haynes (.246 BA, 10 RBI) and Mercedes Williams (.245 BA, 13 RBI) must become more consistent at the plate as the Tigers search for a jolt to their offense.

In the circle, Brown is the team’s top returning arm. However, pitching was not a strong suit for Grambling State last year, and without improvement from Brown or the emergence of a new face within the rotation, it could be a weakness again this season.

The Tigers open the season Feb. 10 at the ULM Mardi Gras Classic as hosted by Louisiana-Monroe.