Brook Womack put in the work during the winter break in hopes of being a much better hitter in the 2018 softball season.
The work worked.
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga senior and former Central High School standout has raised her batting average over 100 percentage points from her junior season to this one. She leads the Mocs in batting average (.394), home runs (six) and runs batted in (32), and they have won four straight games and six out of their past seven heading into this weekend's Southern Conference series against Furman (31-10, 3-3) at Frost Stadium.
The teams are slated to play a doubleheader today, starting at 1 p.m., and a third game Sunday at 2.
Womack struggled in her first season in the program, batting only .246 with five home runs and 16 RBIs. She already has one more home run, four more doubles and 16 more RBIs.
"I don't know what changed," Womack said. "Last year I struggled, but this year I can actually see it. I can see the spin, see where the ball is going, and that's why I've been better."
And she has made her improvements at the plate while not letting it affect her ability in the field. Splitting time between shortstop and second base, Womack's fielding percentage has improved as well.
Basically, she's a much better player this season.
"You can see the confidence at the plate," UTC coach Frank Reed said. "She fouls pitches off, fouls pitches off, and when she gets a chance, puts the ball in play."
Womack admitted she didn't think the Mocs' recent turnaround was going to happen, based on their early-season struggles with fielding and timely hitting. Yet during the recent streak of positive results, the hits have been there when they needed them, time and time again, and the Mocs (20-22, 5-4) have been charged with only four errors in the past seven games.
"I thought we'd stay the same. I didn't think it would come to this point, but I'm glad we did and I hope we continue to play like this and win more games," Womack said. "We have more confidence now because we are winning these games and we feel we can do this. We can play as a team and beat these teams because we were last in the conference and now we're third, so we feel like we're in it.
"We're coming together as a team. I know at the beginning of the year we weren't, but now we're one unit, together, and I feel we're just going to keep going forward."
Contact Gene Henley at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @genehenleytfp.