Omaha Softball off to difficult start of new coaching era

Photo courtesy of UNO Communications

Jack Hoover

For an Omaha Softball team playing its first season under a new coach, there have proven to be a few challenges and learning experiences that have come along with that.

With new head coach Amanda Eberhart taking over the team in July 2018, there was excitement that a coach with Power-Five experience could help lead the Mavericks to success.

The Mavericks have shown examples of that quality at times this season, although it is clear that the team will need time to build to that level and this season will be more focused on growth. Currently, the team has a 3-31 record, with a 1-6 record in conference play.

The schedule for the Mavericks has not been the easiest introduction for Coach Eberhart and her squad, especially in the early part of the season. In the first week of the season, the Mavericks had to play Power Five schools such as Texas Tech, Wisconsin, Nebraska, and No. 9 Georgia. While Omaha was winless in those games, they did manage to keep many of them competitive.

Omaha did pick up the first win of the Eberhart era on February 16th, in a 5-2 game against the University of Buffalo. Omaha sophomore Alexa Sedlak hit a walk-off homer in the seventh inning to power the Mavericks to victory.

Now, the Mavericks are firmly in the swing of Summit League play. Outside of a game at home against Iowa State on April 24th, the remainder of Omaha’s games are against Summit League opposition.

At the time of writing, Omaha sits in last place in the Summit League standings, although they are tied on record with Purdue Fort Wayne. The Mavericks did pick up their first win in the Summit League in a high-scoring 10-8 game against the North Dakota Fighting Hawks.

A standout for the Omaha team this season has been junior Emma Dargy. Dargy currently leads the Mavericks in average (.295), hits (26) and home runs (3).

On the mound, sophomore Sydney Hampton has been ace for the Mavericks. Having pitched in 25 games this season, Hampton has posted an ERA of 5.93, which is best on the team and 16th amongst all pitchers in the Summit League.

The next series for the Mavericks will be away against Purdue Fort Wayne on April 13th and April 14th, where the Omaha will play two games against the Mastodons. This should prove to be an important series for the Mavericks, as a sweep here would move Omaha out of last place in the Summit League standings.