Eric Lopez previews the 2017 North Florida Ospreys season with Head Coach Marcie Hickey, who is enters her 9th season at North Florida as the program’s all-time leader in wins, talks to Lopez about the following.
- Who are some of the players to look for this season?
- Outlook for 2017 season
- Impact Asst Coach Jeff Conrad made on the offense.
- Hiring Shelby Turnier to be the pitching coach
- Breaking down UNF’s schedule
- The outlook of the A-Sun Conference.
- The Growth of the Program.
The Ospreys enter 2017 returning 11 players including Sophomores Navia Penrod and Minnie Cocuzza who earned All-Conference accolades as freshmen. Among the new faces in 2017 include Kayla McGory who is a freshman infielder out of Tampa, Florida.
The Ospreys schedule is one of the toughest in the country taking on eight teams from last year’s NCAA Tournament, including Alabama and Florida State who played in 2015 Women’s College World Series on the road. The Ospreys also travel to Gainesville to take on the Florida Gators.
The big news during the off-season was Hickey hiring of Shelby Turnier to the coaching staff. Turnier joins the Ospreys after a stand out pitching career with UCF becoming the school first ever All-American and all-time winningest pitcher in school history, leading the Knights to three NCAA Tournament berths (2014-2016) and a successful summer with the Chicago Bandits in the NPF helping the Bandits win the National Pro Fastpitch Championship.
You can listen to Turnier’s thoughts on coming to UNF and winning the NPF Championship with the Bandits right here from our interview in December.
Turnier is reunited with Jeff Conrad who was at UCF serving as the Volunteer Assistant Coach for the 2015 season helping UCF win the American Athletic Conference regular season and conference tournament titles for the first time in school history.
Hickey hopes Turnier can turn around pitching staff like Conrad did with the offense in 2016 when the Ospreys finish in the top three of the Atlantic Sun with a .274 team batting average which was the highest offensive output recorded by a UNF team in the last eight seasons.