Thursday will be head coach Beth Mullins’ first night at the helm of the Troy softball team as it kicks its season off. Mullins was hired by the university and the director of athletics, John Hartwell, on June 17, 2014.
“The job opened up, and you know, I’m a south Alabama girl and it’s (Troy) a great university and a great opportunity,” Mullins said. “I was very fortunate that I got an opportunity to work here, and it’s been a great ride since.”
Mullins was recently an assistant coach at Mississippi State for three years and has also had coaching history at Western Kentucky, Georgia Southern and UAB.
Another new factor is the recently completed Troy Softball Complex. A $3 million renovation with turf fields and better player amenities.
Prior to the season, the players have had to overcome a few new things themselves, such as new coaching tactics and plans from the new head coach.
“This spring we just picked up right where we left off in the fall, and they have been working their tails off,” Mullins said. “I have been very impressed. They have transformed themselves through strength and conditioning and mentally transformed themselves through that, and our jobs as coaches is to get their skills to where they need to be, and I think we’ve done a good job of that.”
Mullins seemed optimistic about her team being prepared for its first game on Thursday in Auburn.
“My only expectation is that they just go out there and play it and everything they’ve worked for will work out,” Mullins said.
Not only does the softball team have a new head coach this year, but there were also a few new faces that were added to the roster in the fall. Coach Mullins explained that although there may be a lot of talent on the team, to her, everybody is basically a freshman and everybody will play a role in helping the team be successful this season.
Last year Troy tied Auburn in Troy 5-5, but the game was called off when rain ended it. Later that season, Troy had a second chance to upset Auburn on its home turf; however, the Trojans fell by a score of 13-5 in five innings.
Mullins looks to bring home a win to start off her career here at Troy, and she seemed confident that her players have bought into the plan she has for them this year.
The Trojan softball team opens its season on the road Thursday, Feb. 5, against Auburn at 6 p.m. The Trojans will return home to play Florida A&M on Friday, Feb. 6.