Veteran coach selected to lead Lady Lions’ softball program￼
By Kyle Mooty
Mark Salinas expects success, but he expects it to come with a work ethic that will make his Lockhart Lady Lions excel in all phases of the game to the best of their abilities.
Last week, Salinas was introduced as the new head coach of the LHS softball program, bringing with him more than 20 years of experience as a highly touted Travel softball coach as well as successes at Falls City and more recently Pleasanton high schools. In his one year at Pleasanton, his team went from 4-13 the year before he arrived to 14-8.
Salinas replaces Shelby Hughston, who was at LHS one season and saw the Lady Lions share the Bi-District title before being eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by Pflugerville Weiss.
“Many people who we talk to said (Salinas) was the best softball coach they had seen,” LHS Athletic Director Todd Moebes said.
Salinas, who brought his family to the introduction at the Lions’ Den, attended college in San Marcos and wanted to get back to the area.
He also said he expects his team to exemplify hard work on the playing field.
“Everything we do will be aggressive,” Salinas said. “We will practice aggressive so we will play aggressive, and that just doesn’t work in softball, that’s all sports.”
Salinas told players and parents he is a believer in playing as much softball as possible.
“I love the Roar program,” Salinas said of the Lockhart offseason weight program for athletics.
“High school ball and travel ball, it doesn’t matter how much softball you play,” he said. “We’re going to do some things offensively and defensively you’ve never heard of. It’s something you really need to attend. I’m real big with the weight room. Also, Wickets; it teaches you to actually run the right way. These are things you’ve got to do if you were truly seeking to build athletes up. There are girls that go play college ball who never learn to run the right way. We wanna run fast and be quick. Those are two different things.
“In the summer, you have to be involved in something. Even the 2A schools, if they want to win, will have nine of nine girls playing all year round. And, don’t just go through the motions. Learn while you’re out there. We want to have quality at bats. You’ve got to learn to ID the pitch. You’ve got to know what’s coming. We will have a two-strike approach. You want to be a tough out. Foul off, foul off, foul off until she gets tired of pitching to you. Find a way to work and get better. There shouldn’t be a pitcher in the state of Texas you can’t hit off of. We shouldn’t be intimidated by anyone.”
Salinas said he hopes to have enough girls interested in having a fall league squad.
“If you want to be committed, you’re committed,” he said. “You’re all in or you’re not.”
Salinas said he will use the fall to work on developing skills and he will search where his Lady Lions can play nearby as well as against quality competition.