With the weekend winter storm Jonas dumping more than a foot of snow on most parts of West Virginia it’s hard to fathom the spring sports season only being a few weeks away.
But that’s the case for college baseball and softball teams which are scheduled to get their 2016 seasons under way soon.
For the University of Charleston women’s softball team and a quartet of former Logan County athletes, the spring season is near.
UC’s softball squad is scheduled to open the campaign Feb. 13-14 with a four-game set in Dahlonega, Ga.
Charleston is slated to have its season opener Feb. 13 vs. Lindenwood and the University of North Georgia. Then on Valentines Day, UC takes on the two teams again to close out the four-game road stand.
The Golden Eagles then head south again Feb. 26-28 to play at four-game series in Hartsville, S.C., against WVU Tech, Coker College, Bloomsburg University and King University of Tennessee.
UC’s home opener is set for March 1 in a doubleheader against Salem International University at the UC softball field.
Charleston is then slated to host Ohio Valley University in a March 3 home doubleheader before heading south for a third time — this time to Florida.
The Golden Eagles will be in the Sunshine State March 5-12 and have nine games scheduled to be played in Clermont, Fla., against Slippery Rock University, Quincy University, Shippensburg University, Walsh University (Ohio), Cedarville University (Ohio), West Chester University of Pennsylvania, Ashland University (Ohio) and Lock Haven University.
On Charleston’s softball roster are four Logan County athletes: Twin sisters and senior infielders Allison and Jenna Evans of Chapmanville Regional High School; junior outfielder Rachelle Toppings of Logan High School; and sophomore infielder Lauryn Easterling of Chapmanville.
Logan product and pitcher Morgan Aguirre, who was 7-0 within the circle last year for UC with a 2.45 ERA and 48 strikeouts, is not listed on the current UC roster.
Toppings had a fine season last year for the Golden Eagles as she hit .313, the fifth highest batting average on the team. She had 47 base hits, including four doubles and one triple and had 18 RBI.
Jenna Evans hit .279 with 39 hits, 11 doubles, one triple and 21 RBI.
Allison Evans had a .156 batting average with one double, one home run and five RBI.
The Evans twins led Chapmanville to back-to-back Class AA state championships in 2009 and 2010.
Easterling, the younger sister to former Chapmanville and UC baseball player Josh Easterling, did not play last year.
UC is coming off a successful 2015 season in which the Golden Eagles advanced all the way to the NCAA Division II Atlantic Region 1 Softball Tournament. UC was eliminated by host California University of Pennsylvania 1-0.
Charleston finished with a 38-14 record in 2015. UC won two games in the NCAA Tournament before bowing out.
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).