BRADENTON -- The goal for State College of Florida's softball team this season isn't complex.
It's to win every inning.
"I think that's huge for us," second-year SCF head coach Mandy Schuerman said. "I feel like when you look forward to an opponent like somebody above than what you are playing now, you tend to overlook those teams. And then you don't bring your 'A' game. So our goal is to bring our 'A' game every time. It doesn't matter who we are playing against."
The Manatees claimed the Suncoast Conference title in Schuerman's rookie season at the helm last spring, but were ousted after four games in the state tournament.
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While Schuerman said having that winning mentality with the returning players and incoming freshman that achieved success at previous locations will push the team a little bit further this year, having a dynamic lineup paired with some top pitching are reasons for her to get excited about this year's group.
"We have a lot of power in our lineup this year, and we have a lot of speed in our lineup this year," Schuerman said. "And it's a good combination to score a lot of runs."
Savannah Money and Cacey Simmons are two key speed contributors, while Simmons also pops the ball a bit. The two, alongside Brittany Gilliam, Erica Ward and Kassidy Neptune, provide a strong sophomore class for the junior college program.
"When one person hits, everybody hits," Gilliam said. "So it's just easier for when you get things going, just kind of rolls off."
But while the hitting is clicking, there's a natural tendency to ease up in the field. So Schuerman said she wants her team to shut it down defensively, when they're tearing it up offensively.
And that starts in the circle with the devastating duo of Jessica Reid and Kayla Maxwell.
Neither sophomore was a starter for SCF last season. Reid mostly entered the fray as a reliever, despite a background as a starter during her high school career.
So the transition to reliever and back to starter is a little difficult, especially because it takes her a little time to get it going.
"It is a little tough, because for me, I've always struggled with being warm like warmed up for the very beginning of the game," Reid said.
Both Reid and Maxwell offer different looks, which is key for SCF to keep opposing bats off balance.
Schuerman said Maxwell, a University of Houston transfer, throws a in the 64-65 miles per hour range, which is a speed not many in the conference possess.
Yet, there's no number one in Schuerman's eyes.
Despite that view, Reid said having someone like Maxwell only pushes her to be better.
"You're always fighting for the number one spot, even if you are equally as good," Reid said.
The Manatees, who went 28-19 last year, are ranked seventh in the preseason NJCAA Region 8 Coaches' Poll.
The first SCF home game is Saturday. It's a doubleheader against Seminole State College, starting at 1 p.m.