Missouri senior Jen Bruck admits to being a little bit frightened when Ty Singleton announced that he was leaving the Tiger softball team in August 2006 to coach at New Mexico.
“It was definitely a shock,” she said, “He left two weeks before we got ready to start a new season. We were more worried about what comes next.
Friday’s games11 a.m.: Missouri (6-4) vs. Wichita State (5-3) 6:30 p.m.: Missouri vs. No. 23 Washington (4-5-1)
Saturday’s games1:30 p.m.: Missouri vs. Texas Tech (0-9) 9 p.m.: Missouri vs. New Mexico (4-3)
“I wasn’t mad at all at the decision that he made. The timing of it was just, wow, we’re kind of left out to dry.”
Junior Andee Allen also said there were no hard feelings.
“I had no animosity toward him,” she said. “He did what he thought was best for him, and I respect that.”
Bruck, who is now playing her second season for coach Ehren Earleywine, says she’s excited to face her former coach in the Lobo Invitational on Saturday in Albuquerque, N.M.
“We always want to win, but you do want win (more) because you used to play for him. You want to show him that you have improved,” she said.
Earleywine said the team welcomed him.
“They just needed a breath of fresh air,” he said. “That’s not saying anything negative about the former coaching staff. It’s just sometimes kids just need a change, and I think that last year was that time.”
This year’s team has started a modest 6-4 and, after starting the season nationally ranked, has fallen out of the top 25.
Earleywine said earlier this season that replacing half of his roster would likely result in a slow start.
“There’s been a lot of a learning curve, and I think, honestly, you’re going to see some of that learning curve cost us some wins in the first half of the this season,” he said.
This weekend the team will be without first basemen Amanda Renth, who also played for Singleton. The senior is out indefinitely with a broken nose after being struck last weekend by a foul ball while standing in the on-deck circle