POSTED: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - 3:49pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - 3:57pm
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — The Southern softball program hasn’t had much to cheer about in recent years. The 2014 season didn’t start well but there’s a renewed spirit on campus. The Lady Jags are heading down the final stretch and first place is still within reach.
“It's all pretty surreal and I told the girls the other day we are shocking the world,” interim head coach Tayl’r Hollis said.
Winning the conference title would be a huge accomplishment for a group that started off 0-23. All of a sudden the squad has turned things around and has won seven of their last 10 games under Hollis.
“I don't think there could be any better feeling for some of these kids who haven't seen much success,” she said.
Hollis takes little credit for the recent success. However, her players say she’s been key and a pleasant change from former head coach Lee Dobbins who only lasted 12 games in his first season at Southern.
“Personally, it was really hard to play for him,” senior Megan Maile said Tuesday.
“It’s easier to go to her (Hollis) and easier to relate,” fellow senior Desiree Dawson added.
“We all love each other and we are here for each other. The biggest word I can think of is family,” said Hollis.
Instead of being the mother of the group, her players look at her a bit differently.
“Even though she's a coach we see her as an older sister,” Maile said.
The final chapter of the season is incomplete. But the Lady Jags, who are in second place in the SWAC’s western division, have good reason to be a much happier family.
“These girls never gave up. They almost taught me something about myself because as a player I don't think I could have done that personally,” Hollis, a former LSU softball standout, said.
“Regardless of how this ends, this is the beginning of something great for this program,” Dawson said.
Southern only has six regular season games left on the schedule. Then, they’ll travel to Alabama hoping to win their first SWAC tournament championship since 2003.