BHSU Softball experiences newfound success with upcoming spring season

The Black Hills State University softball team has seen some lean seasons over the last couple of years. But the additions of new coaches Audrey Voboril and Kyle Honeycutt have really set the Lady Yellow Jackets up for success. Prior to BHSU, Voboril had previously coached at Seward County Community College in Liberal, Kansas from 2019-2021. During her playing career at Iowa Western, she was named the 2014 ICCAC Pitcher of the Year and was a NJCAA All-American and Academic All-American. She wrapped up her playing career in 2016 at Morningside, earning All-Conference honors while being named the GPAC Pitcher of the Year and NAIA All-American. Prior to BHSU, Kyle Honeycutt was most recently the Assistant Softball Coach at the University of Nebraska-Kearney from 2019-21. Honeycutt was also a student-athlete with Nebraska-Kearney as a member of the baseball team from 2011-16. During his time there, he appeared in 102 games between 2013-16 as an outfielder and first baseman and was a four-time MIAA Academic Honor Roll qualifier and a 2016 All-MIAA Honorable mention.

The BHSU softball team boasts a strong 10 and 16 record (8-16 conference record) in the young season, already more than tripling their win total from last season. 

Lizzy Johnson, senior outfielder, had this to say regarding her new coaching staff. “Our coaches are very competitive and that has completely changed the way we play. All this year we have been competing in every little thing we do, and it’s transferred onto the field. Also, our coaches always show us support and show that they believe in us which has given us the confidence to compete well against good teams.” 

Coaching that motivates and inspires is a key aspect to any athletic program’s success. 

When asked about what other aspects of her team are contributing to her team’s success, Lizzy explained, “I think our hitting has improved the most from last season. Everybody is hitting well and it shows in the amount of runs we put up and it is helping us to win more games. The old saying goes: everyone digs the long ball.”

Given that this is Lizzy’s senior season, the games mean a lot more to her. She highlighted her mindset this year during her interview. 

Here is what she had to say, “It is the last time I’ll be able to play high level competitive softball and playing with this team has meant the world to me. Every game I play in, you can bet that I’m leaving it all out on the field. This team has been my family here and we all are working hard to change this program around.” 

The key to any program turnover around is motivating coaches and committed seniors. It appears the BHSU softball team has both. 

The Lady Yellow Jackets look to improve their 10 and 16 record in Grand Junction, Colorado with upcoming doubleheaders on both Saturday and Sunday, against Colorado Mesa University.

Lizzy Johnson, Senior, #0, on second base after hitting a single in away game against Colorado State Pueblo last Sunday. The girls won game one 11-2 and game two 7-6. Photos by Jeff Codevilla.