After enduring its second coaching change in as many years and working through a long offseason, the Terrapins softball team will take the field Friday for the first time this year in Tempe, Arizona.

The Terps will play five teams in three days, including No. 6 Oregon, as they get their first chance to put their winter work to the test against fresh opponents.

From hitters looking forward to the new high-energy offense to pitchers ready to showcase their new mechanics, the Terps are excited to get the season underway at the Kajikawa Classic tournament.

“I’ve worked on hitting a lot in the offseason, just to build on [last season] because now people know somewhat who I am, so they’re going to try to pick apart my weaknesses,” infielder Corey Schwartz said.

Schwartz, who hit 15 home runs last year to lead the team, will get chances against Boston College, Boise State, Oregon, San Diego and Utah State throughout the weekend.

In the pitcher’s circle, Brenna Nation will toe the rubber for the first time after overhauling her mechanics this winter.

“I worked on my timing piece, getting my front leg up, and I also worked really hard on my change-up,” Nation said. “[I’ve come] very far since last season. I can actually say that confidently now.”

First-year coach Julie Wright said her pitching staff won’t be limited to a pitch count in the opening weekend, but she expects to spread the workload evenly.

The Terps lost pitcher Kaitlyn Schmeiser, who started a team-high 28 games last season, to graduation. Nation and pitcher-outfielder Hannah Dewey, though, combined to start 25 games last year and bring experience to the staff.

“We really want [our pitchers] to get their legs under them and hit their stride in terms of game fitness,” Wright said.

While the tournament will be a chance for returning starters to showcase their offseason work, it will also serve as a tryout for the starting spot at first base. Wright plans to use the weekend to help solve the five-way positional battle, which she said hinges in part on matchup advantages.

The first-base candidates are “all working very hard and playing about the same level of defense, so I’m really looking for an edge offensively,” Wright said.

The trip to Arizona elicits mixed feelings for the Terps coach, who said the long-distance flight will be tough, but the chance to travel and experience warm weather is something the team will cherish.

Wright said it will take time for the team to hit its stride after losing several key players to graduation, in addition to adjusting to its third coach in three years.

“I expect that we are going to be on an uphill climb; you know, you never want to play your best ball straight out of the gate,” Wright said. “We’ll get better as the season goes on. We’re going to need some game experience for a lot of players.”

Struggles won’t be for lack of preparation, though. Wright said her team is as ready as it can possibly be.

And the players are excited to play their first games under their new coach.

“They’ve worked hard on their game mentally and we’re in a really good space as far as our preparation,” Wright said.

“I’m so ready. I know my teammates are so ready,” Nation said. “We talk about [getting this season started] all the time.”