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The Scarlet & Black

Softball sets high bar, fields newcomers

Jordan Matosky ’16 practices catching in the Fieldhouse. Photo by Saw Min Maw.

In the past, the softball team has had some disappointing seasons. But the players want to get the message across that this is not last year’s team—not even close. In the program’s 37th year, the Pioneers are looking to make a splash.

“We’re a completely new team, and we’re not defined by team 36 or team 35,” said co-captain Jennifer Fulton ’15. “We’re looking to get a few more wins than we’ve had in the past, which is a very real possibility.”

Fulton believes that seven incoming first-year players will be a huge addition to the crew.

Sage Juveland ’17 and Lydia Stariha ’17 will bat number one and two, respectively, to lead the lineup, while Iowa native pitcher Megan Gibson ’17 will throw many of the innings.

According to Laura Flannery ’17, the first-years have big shoes to fill, but they are welcoming the challenge. She can sense that upperclassmen are encouraging the newcomers to improve on their skills and she appreciates the task.

“This first-year class and captains just have a different drive,” said head coach Amanda Reckamp. “We have a different energy in the program that hasn’t really existed [in the past].”

Reckamp does admit that the first-years will have to adjust to playing at a college level, but she has been trying to put the players in pressure situations during practice, so they will be ready on game day. These tasks, as well as intra-team scrimmages, have propelled players to challenge themselves and the Pioneers believe that the ways that the team conducts its practices will translate to success on the field.

“We’ve seen how well our pitching, defense and hitting have done in different situations,” Alyssa Bean ’16 said.

Jordan Matosky ’16 practices catching in the Fieldhouse. Photo by Saw Min Maw.
Jordan Matosky ’16 practices catching in the Fieldhouse. Photo by Saw Min Maw.

The seven new faces on the crew will have no seniors as their teammates, but that does not seem to faze them in the least. Co-captains Fulton, Summer Wilke ’15 and Kristina Weber ’16  have been filling that leadership role, but Bean notes that she has also has seen non-captains step up and display leadership qualities.

“One of the things we’ve talked about is you don’t necessarily need a title to be a leader,” she said.

Fulton agrees with Bean’s remark. The team chemistry and openness of the team have contributed to better communication on the field, off the field and among players and coaches.

“Our team has a really great dynamic this year in that we all see the value that each person on our team has,” she said. “You need a cohesive group,” she said. “Our communication from the get-go has been really great and that’s really exciting because communication really leads to great execution of plays.”

The team is excited to get onto the field, but the weather has not been cooperative, thus far. The team’s first games this weekend were postponed, due to weather. While the Pioneers are itching to play, the team is making the best of its extra time.

“Now we can take it a step further and solidify everything we’ve been working on and really make sure that every little detail is in place, so that we can perform to the best of our ability,” Fulton said.

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