With softball season getting underway last week, head coach Howie Smith knows that with a young team that having girls step up early on will be key to a successful season. The Conquistadors return just four players from last year’s squad and bring in 12 freshman along with two sophomore transfers. Among the freshman is Dodge City native Matti Tieben, who is no stranger to the Dodge City Community College softball team.
With her mom playing under former coach Phil Pettay in the early seasons of DC3 having softball on campus, Tieben understands the expectations and what it means to don the purple and gold. Coach Smith has been able to follow Tieben throughout high school, watching her earn All-Western Athletic Conference Honorable Mention honors as a senior. “Matti is someone who we can rely on to step up early on and help get our season going in the right direction” said head coach Howie Smith when asked about Matti having familiarity with some of the fields and complexes that DC3 will see early on in the season. “The good thing for Matti is she will be helped by having sophomore leadership around her to where she isn’t forced into roles that she isn’t comfortable with like she might have been in high school.”
After sitting around for the past two weeks and watching other Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference schools get their season’s started, DC3 will now play catch up by starting the season with 12 games in eight days before opening up conference play against defending NJCAA National Champion Butler Community College on March 1. In addition to three non-conference doubleheaders, the Conquistadors will also play their first three conference doubleheaders at Legends Field in Dodge City which will make Tieben a key component to getting some early season wins.