(Hillsboro) A new season of softball is underway at Jefferson College, and the Vikings once again have high hopes.
JeffCo went 13-3 last year before their 2020 season was cut short because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But the Vikings won 41 games the year before, and head coach Tony Cook says they can get there again if they worry about the little things.
Former local high school stars made their mark in the little time they got as freshmen in the lineup.
Former Windsor Owl Jessica Veselske finished tied for second on the team with a .400 batting average, combining with Hillsboro Hawks grad Kelsey Boyd to hit 5 home runs and score 18 runs.
The biggest returning bat is former Fox Warriors star Lauren Duff, who slugged over .800, hitting .348 with team highs of 5 homers, 5 doubles and 21 RBI.
Cook says he thinks the lineup will eventually clear out some early cobwebs.
But the most important returning piece is sophomore starting pitcher Kristina Bettis from Illinois.
Bettis went 8-2 with a 1.09 earned-run average in 11 appearances last year, adding 99 strikeouts to the 6th-best ERA in the country.
Cook says Bettis is only getting better.
After Bettis pitched a complete-game victory in JeffCo’s season-opening win against Trinity Valley, the Vikings lost their last 3 games at the THF Winter Blast in Texas.
Jefferson College is back in action with the TigerFest Tournament in Mississippi starting on Friday.
You can hear the full interview with Tony Cook by clicking play below.