BILLINGS — The Billings West softball team set a state record when they pounded out 74 home runs last season. The Golden Bears ar up to those same tricks again as they aim at topping last year's mark.
"I think we really want to beat our home run record. We might come close this season, not sure. We started off good," said Ashley Wik.
The Bears smacked seven home runs in the opening weekend and are right around the pace needed early on. So how has West sustained this power surge?
"I really don't know. We work hard in practice and we work on fundamentals on hitting. We hit the weight room a lot this winter," Wik said.
"They hit the weight room pretty hard. They're athletic. A lot of it is natural ability, but they work hard in the summer with their dads, summer ball coaches, and they work hard here," coach Preston Sanders said. "I think all of that together — they listen. They're coachable. A lot of it is God-given talent, then you just refine it a little as a coach."
West didn't complete last season with a State AA title, falling to rival Billings Senior in the championship round. That's helped fuel the fire for this season.
"I'm excited for this year and I know all of our team is. That's kind of our main goal right now. Obviously, winning for all the games, but state is our main motivation," said Wik.
"They're wanting to win it all. They're playing to win the last game of the season. That's the most important one," Sanders said.