It’s a new day and new dawn for Lehman softball as a new head coach takes the helm in 2017.
Lydia Bagget, a Texas native and University of Houston graduate, was hired over the winter to take over the Lobo softball program.
Baggett, whose coaching career began when she was in the eleventh grade, was asked in 2005 to return to her high school and help revamp a program that had significantly declined.
In the 10 years Baggett was a part of the program, she managed to improve the team and help them make the playoffs in nine of the 10 season. She capped it off with a district championship in her final year.
Last season, Baggett was at Galena Park High where she was a varsity assistant.
She said she came to Lehman seeking a change. Both Baggett and her husband accepted jobs at Lehman.
Baggett said that she brings an energy that allows an athlete to remember why they fell in love with the game in the first place.
The coaching philosophy Baggett believes in is that it’s always about the athlete.
As far as the athlete goes, only three returning starters, Kaylee Wipff, centerfielder Gabby Rodriguez and shortstop Seryna Avalos, return.
Baggett believes that to say any one particular athlete stands out amongst the rest is unfair to the other players working just as hard and that they all do their job and are all needed to function.
While the spring season started with “a few bumps” for Lehman, Baggett said despite all the changes the chemistry is working well and the team seems to be meshing in a way that works.
“I like that they don’t get down on themselves,” said Baggett. “It’s tough when you’re in a game and the score starts running up and no matter what you do, it gets away from you. The pitchers work hard and the defense is right behind them, it has just worked itself out in a way that did not favor us.”
Although Baggett is optimistic, she is still a coach, and believes there is room for improvement.
For Baggett, the most important aspect to work on is depth. She wants to be able to have each of her players have the ability to play 3 to 4 positions. She also emphasizes the small-ball ideology for her team.
“As an ex-player, sometimes it feels like the weight of the game is on you and have to get that amazing hit that brings everyone in,” said Baggett. “It doesn’t always have to be that. A base hit here, a base hit there, one steal and a RBI – it’s a new ballgame!”
Working on the mental part of the game is also a focus for Baggett. She said at the end of the game, her team should be both physically and mentally exhausted.
She just wants to make sure that the young ladies that make up the program learn what it means to have each other’s back. She wants to instill in her team that the game is important.
Bringing a level of respect to Lobo softball and Lobo athletics is her goal.
“We have our spurts of success and we have teams that consistently do well, but just in being in the district for a few months, talking with our athletes, talking to other coaches both here and in the general area, we sometimes get the short end of the stick on what our full potential can be,” Baggett said. “Things are often “assumed” and I hope to change that. I have told my athletes that they need to embrace the target that stands in their way and above all, win the moment.”