In her 10 seasons of leading the Truman State softball program, Head Coach Erin Brown has seen her share of the ups and downs of Bulldog softball. After four years donning the Truman uniform herself, Brown eventually returned to the Truman Softball Field to take the program into her own hands.
Over time, Brown says she’s seen the program and the game itself change several times. As a player, Brown says the team’s success as three-time regional finalists stemmed from her head coach, Kristy Schroeder.
Several years later when she became head coach, Brown says she initially struggled to assert herself in that leadership position.
“I think that when I first came, there were some things I should have addressed that I didn’t,” Brown says. “Waiting to address those things made it take a little longer to get the program back to where it was.”
Brown says she’s learned to address the problem areas of the team, and she expects more from her players now than she ever has before. She says her coaching philosophy now revolves around the idea that there is a consequence for not meeting standards.
Brown says before, the situation would have to get really bad before she stepped up and did something about it, but now, she has raised the standards for attitude and effort. She says these changes have really benefitted the team. Brown led her team to two straight NCAA tournament appearances and a 101-40 record since the start of the 2014 season. Brown says the last three seasons have been her most successful — success Brown says she did not build on her own.
Brown says her athlete’s attitude and work ethic are the driving force of the program’s improvement. She says much of this mentality is the product of her senior players.
“I don’t have enough time or words to talk about [the senior players],” Brown says. “The seniors have been so crucial to our program. When they came, we weren’t very good. We were still building. They have really left their mark and legacy on this team and are leaving the program better than when they came in…. Anything from the type of attitude and effort we have on the field to just really being good teammates and being all-in for the team has improved so much in their time here.”
With one last chance to make their mark on Truman softball, the senior players look to finish the 2016 season with their third consecutive national tournament appearance.
Senior pitcher Kelsea Dorsey says she feels fortunate for the overall growth of the team in her time at Truman and sees the success as a result of the united family mindset the team encompasses. Dorsey says her teammates play for each other, and win and lose as a team. She says the players don’t play selfishly, are constantly picking each other up and are there for each other on and off the field.
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