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Hey Catamount softball fans,

 

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IT'S ABOUT THAT TIME!

 

Our first tournament starts a week from today in Charleston, S.C. We are so excited to get out on the field and play after being cooped up in the gym for practice with all the snow.

 

We have been taking advantage of any "warm" weather we can get to be out on the field, and have finally been able to be outside a little bit this week.

 

We have been working our pitchers pretty hard getting some live at-bats any chance we can get. We have also been doing a lot of situational defense to make sure we are ready for competition. We are looking pretty smooth if I do say so myself. Not only have we been focusing on getting our physical game ready, but we've also been working on our mental game and deciding what we want to accomplish this season.

 

Last night we had a team meeting to put together our goals for the year and two words that kept coming up were "limitless" and "relentless." By working on having those two qualities, it is our goal this season to change the way people view Catamount softball.

 

This team is one of the most dedicated and passionate teams I have ever played on, and we are so ready to prove to everyone what we are made of. Despite what any pre-season rankings have to say, we are ready to make this season one to remember, and we hope you guys will come out and support us. 

 

Please keep us in your prayers for safe travels this month as we will be on the road every weekend for the rest of the month of February.

 

Also, don't forget about our first home game March 15th against Elon. We are hoping to pack out the stands with screaming fans, so please come out and support your Catamount softball team! I hope you all have a great Valentines weekend coming up and until next time... 

 

GOD BLESS AND GO CATS!

 

Taylor Sigmon #15

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Hey Catamount softball fans,

I hope you are as ready for the Catamount softball season as we are.

With a record of 7-0-1 in the fall, we are eagerly awaiting the start of the season this spring. We have all been working very hard throughout the fall, whether it was in the weight room getting stronger and faster, or on the field practicing and learning more about the game.

This team is going to look much different than last year with seven players leaving and seven new players coming in, including six talented freshmen and one transfer. All of these players contributed to the team very well in the fall and it seems as if they are all going to have great careers here at Western Carolina.

The whole team is getting along very well and you would think that we have been playing together our whole lives. We are just one big happy family and we all have the same attitude in that we are determined to have a great season.

Our first tournament of the season is at College of Charleston on February 14. I know many of you will not make it to Charleston, but we would love to see you all at our first home game against Elon on March 15th!

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and I pray that you all have a great year!

 God Bless and GO CATS!

Taylor Sigmon #15

 

SigmonBlog.jpgHey Catamount fans, 

It's been a while since my last post so let me get you all updated about what's been going on with Catamount softball.

Just last weekend we took the series from Georgia Southern, last year's conference champions. Also, our pitcher Jordan Garrett is inching closer and closer to the single season record for most strikeouts in a season, she has 202, and only nine to go to go over the record of 210. 

It was truly a special weekend because we also got to celebrate our seniors and all that they have contributed to this program in their time as Catamounts.

My first season here at Western Carolina has absolutely flown by. I feel like I was just moving into my dorm a few months ago, and I cannot believe we already celebrated senior day. It's crazy to think that I will be there in three short years, and it makes me cherish the time that I still have here doing what I love. 

I think I can speak for the whole team when I say that the seniors will truly be missed next year. We couldn't ask for better leaders, teammates, and friends. 

Coming in as a freshman, I definitely heard some horror stories from some of my softball friends about how they have had some terrible seniors on their teams, and I never once had to deal with anything like that. They made my freshman year less stressful because I knew i could go to them if I needed help with anything; they have all been so supportive to me. 

They are also all extremely talented players, and I have learned so much from just being able to watch them this whole year. I know they are all going to be successful in whatever they decide to do after college, and I wish them nothing but the best. I feel extremely blessed to have been able to play with each and every one of these girls, and I love them all so much! Once a Catamount, ALWAYS a Catamount! 

But the season is not quite over yet!

We play our final series this weekend at College of Charleston. They are currently ranked second in conference, so they are not going to be an easy team to beat. But we have been working extremely hard the last couple of weeks to finish this season strong and we intend to. 

We would like to get a few wins this weekend because we have our conference tournament coming up in two weeks. This year it is in Greensboro, N.C. and we will have our first game Wednesday, May 8th. 

On our team, we call the tournament our "third season" and we are hoping to bring a Socon championship back home to Cullowhee! We had our last home games on Wednesday, but our season isn't over. If any of you can make it to Greensboro we would love the support.

Until next time...GO CATS! 

Thanks and God Bless, 
Taylor Sigmon #15

SigmonBlog.jpgHey Catamount Fans,

We're on our way to Alabama about to make a stop at Texas Road House for dinner. It's been a long ride so far as we were stuck in Atlanta traffic, but we finally made it to the food!

We have about another three hours to drive when we get back on the bus, and we are all so ready to be in Birmingham. We watched the movie Jam on the bus in the spirit of March Madness, and we are so excited to get to Alabama to get to play a few games ourselves.

This week had its ups and downs for Catamount softball. We suffered three conference losses last weekend to UNCG who is a very good team, and a loss to ETSU in our first game on Wednesday.

We came together as a team between games, against ETSU, Wednesday and made the decision to stop getting in our own way of success. Almost every loss we have suffered, we have beaten ourselves, and in this struggle I think most of us have realized just how good of a team we can be.

Needless to say, after our team meeting we came out in our next game on fire and ready to play. We were playing like Catamounts again, and I couldn't have been more excited for our team.  

We intend to take the losses we have suffered the last few games and use them as motivation to play the way we know how tomorrow and Sunday. We have grown so much as a team in the last few days, and I can't wait to see what we are going to accomplish this weekend at Samford. I feel so blessed to be a part of this group of girls, and I know that God definitely has big plans for this team. We play tomorrow at 2:00 and 4:00 eastern daylight  time, so make sure to follow us on game tracker!

Until next time...GO CATS! Thanks and God Bless!

--Taylor Sigmon #15

Hey Catamount fans,

SigmonBlog.jpgI hope all of you have been doing well. It has been two weeks since my last post, so let me get you guys updated on what's been happening with Catamount softball.

We have been playing some tough competition getting ready for the conference season. After traveling to both Charlotte and Coastal Carolina, the past two weekends, we have officially finished the tournament portion of our season. The teams we have been competing against have all been solid, and even though we have been in a little bit of a slump lately, record wise, I feel like we are now on the right track to have a successful conference season. We have taken the losses we have experienced the last couple weeks, fixed what we needed to, and improved overall as a team.

Even though we have had a difficult time getting the weather to cooperate this week for practice, we had a good workout in Reid Gym yesterday. We are working hard to get refocused, not only physically, but mentally as well. Coach [Jim] Clift has been going through new breathing and visualization work with the team. We have the physical stuff down, now if we can just improve the mental side of our game I feel like we will be finding ourselves winning more games than losing.

We were able to get back out on the field today, and I felt great about every part of our practice. Everyone was going all out the whole time giving 100 percent, and we are starting to look sharper both defensively and offensively. I am so excited to see what we are going to be able to accomplish this weekend and the rest of the season.

The Catamount softball team will be hosting App this Saturday at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. and Sunday at 1:00 p.m.. The first game Saturday will also be an athletes backing athletes game so I'm sure it will be an exciting environment, and we want everyone to be a part of it. We are planning on having some new games, activities, and prizes coming up soon for our loudest fans, so please come out and support us as we start up our conference season this weekend. I have also heard that we are supposed to be getting some beautiful weather Saturday, and what better way to enjoy it than supporting your Cats!? In the words of one of our captains, Amber Steinhart, "the Catamount softball team is ready to beat that APP," and you won't want to miss it!

Until next time...GO CATS! Thanks and God Bless!

 --Taylor Sigmon #15

Taylor Sigmon's entry in the Taylor vs. Taylor dueling blogs. Baseball's Taylor Sandefur's blog posted earlier in the week. As a note, Sigmon wrote this blog prior to the first day of the Lipton Florida Invitational which began Feb. 15.

Hello again Catamount Fans,

SigmonBlog.jpgI am currently on the bus headed to Florida with the team. We're getting ready for some warmer weather, our second tournament of the season, and an experience I'm sure all of us are excited to have. We were very eager about the fact that we are getting close to Longhorn Steakhouse for some food and a break from riding on the bus. This weekend should be full of great competition, and I can't wait to see how our team is going to continue to improve over the next few days.

Last weekend, after we all got over those first game jitters, we opened the season going 2-2 at USC Upstate. Even though we were all hoping for an unbeaten start to the season, we learned from the losses and really grew as a team. Amelia Griffin and Shemekia Scotton, who earned a spot on the all-tournament team at Upstate, lead us to two solid wins against two good teams. We are hoping to take what we learned last weekend and use it to make us better this weekend in Florida.

This weekend we will be playing UNC Wilmington, Charleston Southern, Savannah State, and The University of Florida. We had a rainy week in Cullowhee so there was a limited amount of usable field at practice the last few days. But we made the best of it, working on hitting live pitchers trying to get some more practice on what we were going to be faced with in the game. We also worked on our defensive game, as much as our soggy infield would allow, focusing on communication between the outfield and infield. Overall, I feel like I can speak for the whole team when I say that we are ready to get out of the nasty weather and to Florida for some live games.

We get to play on a big stage this weekend, and as a freshman I know I am excited to play on a field I saw on ESPN last summer. This weekend should be a fun experience and I can't wait to Florida and get the games rolling, not to mention I am ready to get off this bus. (:

Until next time...GO CATS! Thanks and God Bless!

--Taylor Sigmon #15

NOTE: Taylor Sandefur's blog today is the first of our Taylor vs. Taylor segment this spring as we will have dueling blogs with Sandefur and softball's Taylor Sigmon. This should be fun. Sigmon's blog is scheduled to post Thursday night.

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Why, hello there Catamount Baseball lovers. Taylor Sandefur from your WCU baseball team here.

At the time I write this, we are just three days away from Friday - also known as Opening Day. "Fortress Cullowhee" will be in full effect. I am going to update you on how things are going with the baseball team and what we have been up to since last Wednesday.

On Thursday, Jan. 31st, we had weights at 7:30 am. Four of us, myself included, had class at 8:00 am, so we had to do our weight lifting after we got out of class. Later on we had a 30-minute practice and it was all defensive work. We were saving our hours up for the weekend intrasquads. It was similar to our individual work where the outfielders went off and did their fly ball communication and worked on getting reads of the bat while the catchers, infielders, and pitchers did our defensive work together.

Friday, we started the day off right getting strong in the weight room. In an unofficial poll that I did - with no scientific research and or surveys to back up this information - I found out that we are the strongest team in the country. We had practice at 2:45 that afternoon. We started with our team stretch, got loose, did our team defense, pick plays, first and thirds, bunt defense, and then took batting practice. During "BP," some of the pitchers got bullpens in and long toss to prepare for the upcoming weekend.

The weekend that was suppose to be full of us playing got interesting quick. We did our pre-game in-and-out and started playing. Sophomore Jeremy Null and junior Jordan Smith took the ball first. They were looking good out of the gate. I remember vividly: I was sitting in the dugout attempting to stay warm while doing my duty of foul ball manager - which consists of telling people to go get the foul balls while I sat by the heater - and looked over at one of my teammates, also known as Jonathan "the Flamingo" Nadale. I said, "Flamingo, is that snow?"

 He replied with, "I'm from California, ask someone else."

Sure enough, it was snow. It began coming down pretty hard and before you know it, we had to end practice because we couldn't see the ball. Believe it or not, a white ball in white snow is pretty tough to see. Sunday also was a wash because of the lovely blanket of snow that we received from Mother Nature.

Monday (Feb. 4) we hit the weight room as usual at 7:30 am. We had practice that afternoon. We got out to the field on our own, stretched and prepared for an upcoming intrasquad on our own. We had in-and-out at 4:15 pm and first pitch was at 4:30. As expected, we looked tremendous. A few standouts for me were Nadale and sophomore Tyler Powell on the bump. They had all their pitches working and filled up the zone getting guys out. From the offensive side, senior Tyler White hit a homerun which is impossible to defend; redshirt freshman Austin Neary hit the ball hard and collected a few knocks as usual; and junior Luke Gragg got a couple of hits, too.

Tuesday (Feb. 5) was similar to Monday. We stretched and threw, had a little meeting and had a situational intrasquad. Senior Preston Hatcher and I started the intrasquad, throwing an inning apiece. Transfer John McClure and sophomore William Frazier took the mound after us and threw two innings. Mound work continued with freshmen Jonathan Waszak and Thomas Young taking the ball last and throwing three innings.

The biggest thing that stuck out from Tuesday's intrasquad was that Waszak had a huge strikeout. He punched out Luke Gragg to end his unbelievable streak of 111 at bats through the fall and spring practices without a strikeout... Luke is an absolute stud. Reece Strong had a great day with a two RBI single and a double to center. Junior left-hander Dykota Spiess also hit the ball sound, too.

 Wednesday (Feb. 6) and Thursday (Feb. 7) consisted of normal practice days. We sharpened our skills defensively as a unit, hitters worked on their swings and we pitchers continued to strive to perfect our craft.

 Friday (Feb. 8) was scheduled to be another intrasquad day, but because of rain, we did field work to prepare the field to play on Saturday and Sunday. Post field work, we went out to the football field and did our defensive work as a team, our pick plays, run downs, first and third plays and bunt defense. We work hard on our defensive play because pitching and defense win championships... and three-run jacks don't hurt.

 Saturday (Feb. 9) and Sunday (Feb. 10) were intrasquad days. Jordan Smith, Powell, Hunter Brister and Hatcher threw the ball extremely well on Saturday. On Sunday, Morgan McKinney, Adam Curtis, and I continued that theme by pitching well.

 After I got done throwing on a cold Sunday afternoon, the sky opened up and we had to tarp the field and call it a day. Rain can really put a damper on your day (Get it? Rain...damper...). White hit really well this weekend, collecting two homeruns on Sunday. Sophomore Dale Urquhart hit a homerun as well and had four quality at bats.

 That's it for this week and don't forget, FRIDAY IS OPENING DAY. Come out; subscribe to watch the video online (Catamount All-Access - FREE PLUG); whatever you have to do to support your Catamounts!

 

Hey Catamount Fans,

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It's Taylor Sigmon reporting from the Catamount softball team. This is my first blog, so for those of you who don't know me, I'm a freshman here at Western Carolina from the small town of Catawba, North Carolina.

I have been playing softball since I was three, and I could not be more thankful that God led me to Western Carolina. I love this school and my team more than I ever thought I would. I guess you could call me a home body because I was so nervous about coming to college and being away from my family, but this team has quickly become a family away from home for me. With that said, let me get to the part that you all are really interested in...the start of the season!

Softball season is rolling around again and I am so excited to start my first season as Catamount. I feel like I can speak for the whole team when I say we are so ready to get out of the offseason and start the season. We have worked extremely hard this fall getting up at 5:30 every morning to hit the weight room or go run, and I can't say I will miss those days much, but they have definitely made us prepared for the spring season.

Since we've been back from Christmas break we have been working hard every day at practice getting ready for game situations. We have done a lot of scrimmaging and hitting off of our pitchers (who are obviously some of the best in the Socon J)  to get us used to seeing live pitching again. We have been going hard every single day, and I don't think there has been a practice where I haven't seen one of my teammates lay out for a ball and get dirty. That shows me that everyone is just as ready as I am to make this season one of the best seasons that this school has ever seen. We have worked a lot on the small details of our game in the last few weeks as well like bunting, situations, and base running trying to work out all the kinks before game day.

Needless to say, the Catamount softball team is extremely excited to start the season. We have our first tournament this weekend at USC Upstate and I can't wait to play in an actual game against an actual team...it's been way to long. We open our conference season at home against App State on March 9th and we would really appreciate all the support we can get. So bring all your friends and come out to watch some softball because it should be a great game.

Until next time...GO CATS! Thanks and God Bless!
 

--Taylor Sigmon #15 

Attention to all the Catamount baseball fans:

 

Taylor.jpgI, Taylor Kirkwood Sandefur, am back on my blogging game. I know it has been a while and y'all are probably dying to hear what has been going on with the Catamount baseball team.

 

First things first, I am going to tell you what I have been up to because that's why everyone reads my blogs...right?

 

Since my last blog, I have become a master of carpentry. I constructed a coffee table for the living room in my apartment and needless to say, it's the best quality this side of the Mississippi. I also have perfected the art of the jazz flute, and became a certified magician. Houdini who?

 

Now, let me inform you what the team has been doing since my last blog.

 

Team fall practice came to a close and we broke off into our small group segment. During this time, us pitchers - also known as the best athletes on the field - would go in four different groups and we would get our work in. We would long toss, throw flat ground, bullpens, work on our defense and go over our overall pitching system.

 

The hitters broke into groups based on the position they play in the field and they would go hit and do hitter/position player related activities. I never know what they do out there. They are swinging bats and all kinds of wild stuff.

 

Aside from working on perfecting our craft, we hit the weight room hard. Exam week arrived, we took our exams, and off to Christmas break we went. Over the break, our former strength coaches gave us a packet with all of the lifting and running we were suppose to accomplish while we were gone. Everyone seemed to have put in a good amount of work while they were away.

 

We have been back for a few weeks now. When we first got back to school, we resumed work in our small groups phase preparing for the season.

 

A small side note that relates to the season, I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE SEASON. It has been entirely to long (536 days, or 1 year, 5 months, and 17 days, or 46,310,400 seconds) since I put on a uniform and pitched against someone other than my own teammates.

 

Back to the team, we were lifting Monday, Wednesday and Friday and conditioning Tuesdays and Thursdays. Our team works incredibly hard.

 

Now you are up to date with a summary of the past couple of months. Currently, we are in our team practice phase. Team practice is exciting. We are wearing baseball pants and are out there as a team; guys are diving, getting dirty, hitting bombs, and throwing cheese - all the good stuff that comes with a baseball game.

 

Our first official day of team practice got scratched due to bad weather. Instead, we started on Saturday, January 26th. The first practice was a refresher day. We touched on pick plays, first and thirds, bunt defenses and a great deal more. We split up and did individual defense as well. We, the pitchers, did our cords and participated in our throwing drills and had a light day of throwing. The infielders took groundballs and the outfielders caught fly balls. Subsequent to that, we took batting practice and we were off - a quality refresher day to get us back in the swing of things.

 

Sunday, January 27: we showed up to the field, stretched, threw, took infield and outfield and had an intrasquad scrimmage. Pitchers Jeremy Null, Jordan Smith and Danny Schneider looked really good on the mound. Freshman Reece Strong was protecting the culture and got hit by the pitch three times ... we don't move.

 

Senior Tyler White looked good at the plate delivering a big fly to left as well as Bryant "Boomer" Noteboom coming threw with a towering homerun. Intrasquads are always bitter sweet, but as a team, we looked excellent. We had a lot of energy and everyone was playing hard.

 

Monday morning rolls around and the Cats are in the weight room getting after it at 7:30 am. We got a high-quality lift in; some guys had to go to class and learn while Null, White, and myself enjoyed a nice nap because we don't have class on Monday's - just practice at 3:45 pm.

 

We met in the locker room and observed video from Sunday's intrasquad. There are always first-rate teaching points when watching video review. Once we polished off video review, we were in route to the field. We did our normal pre practice warm up and went straight into cuts and relays, combined with backing up the bases. Once coach felt we had a good grasp on cuts and relays, we moved into batting practice. We got to watch some bombs leave the yard, which is always a exhilarating. Post batting practice, we did fly ball communication and reviewed our priorities on the field and hit the showers.

 

Tuesday was another intrasquad day. As I write this on Wednesday, it has been pouring rain here all day and it's our off day... so it's a good thing that we got our intrasquad in on Tuesday.

 

Before starting the game, we did individual defense so our position players could get some more reps, we took infield and outfield, and then we played. Everyone threw in the game, just like on Sunday's game. Null and Smith started the game. Sophomore Tyler Powell, freshman Alex Barr, and senior Preston Hatcher were the three guys that stood out the most for me on the pitching side. On the position player side, Dykota Speiss hit an absolute missile of a homerun to right center field and Jacob Hoyle bounced a foul ball off of Highway 107 and later hit a homerun in the game.

 

Well, that's all for now. I hope y'all can hold out until my next blog. I would hate it if anyone started having withdraws or getting hives because they cant read my literary magic.

We meet again, Catamount Baseball fans! It's Monday, so in between mixing chemicals, discovering new forms of clean energy and tackling world hunger, you will be getting your weekly update on how the baseball team is doing.

This past week was a wholesome one.  Routinely, we had Monday off. We woke up for our 7:30 am "swole sesh" - aka workouts - and it was raining. That led to us getting Tuesday off as well. That gave our mammoth muscles time to recover and grow. It is a necessity. That night, took a little time to clean the apartment; it smells of rich mahogany. I have many leather bound books as well. I'm kind of a big deal... people know me.

Anyway, we got back on our grind Wednesday, getting back out on the field. We hit a quick summary of defensive work, and then partook in a brief intra-squad scrimmage. Senior leftie Hunter Brister, transfer John McClure, sophomore Jacob Hoyle, redshirt freshman Bryce Danielson, freshman Jonathan Waszack, and sophomore Danny Schneider all spent time on the mound. The pitch calling was pretty arduous. It was intended to get guys to work on the pitches that need some work and challenge us mentally. They executed some pitches, left some over the plate that got hit, but overall, accepted the challenge and did pretty well.

Thursday morning called for another lift. We got after it as usual - by now, that shouldn't come as a surprise considering we look like we are the cast of the movie "300." It's not easy, but it's sheer dedication. Later in the day, we had practice. It was a simple session as we worked on our pick plays, bunt defense, first and third situations, took batting practice, and hit the showers - figuratively, not literally. That would be bad if we literally hit the showers. It may hurt our hands.

Friday morning, the position players got their third lift of the week in. Us pitchers got loose, ran some 100-yard sprints, and then ran to Reid Gym to get a pool work out in. The pool workouts are difficult. First off, you can't breathe under water, which makes it hard on its own. Secondly, swimming isn't easy and is physically demanding. We all parted ways, hit the classroom, and then met back at the field for an intra-squad.

We had a crisp scrimmage. The hitters hit our (as pitchers) mistakes while on the flipside of that, we got the hitters out on some good pitches. Senior leftie Jonathan Nadale, sophomore Jeremy Null and sophomore William Frazier all toed the rubber against crafty senior left-hander Adam Curtis and freshman Colton Davis. Some of the stand outs at the plate - for me, at least - were redshirt freshman Austin Neary, junior Aaron Attaway, sophomore Bradley Strong and senior Tyler White. They looked very confident in the box and were squaring balls up.

Saturday, we got after it again with another tremendous intra-squad game. We gave A+  effort which ended with coach giving us off Sunday. Quick highlights from hitters and pitchers include right-handers junior Jordan Smith, senior Preston Hatcher, and sophomore Tyler Powell. They all really grabbed the bull by the horns and showed how good they really are. The hitters included again, Neary who is having a great fall, and Hoyle who hit a home run and a back side double off the wall.

That's it for this weeks update. We have fall break coming up so be prepared for a little bit of a delay. It's going to be hard and if you go through withdraws, it's ok; it's normal. Everything will be okay, I promise.

Recent Comments

    Preston Jacobsen said:

    Nice mention Taylor! Us Left Field Loonies will certainly be ready! We are working on a website as we speak and looking to get sponsored by a few local companies! Omaha! Omaha! Big goals.

    in post Baseball's Taylor Sandefur Blog No. 1