Softball readies to step up to the plate

Softball finished off its 2011 season by capturing the Little Three title and compiling a 20-18-1 (7-5 in the NESCAC) record. However, the team’s hopes of claiming the NESCAC title were dashed following a loss to Trinity in game three of the championship. This year, the women hope to improve upon last year’s tournament results. “Our goal is to win the NESCAC championship and take our team to the NCAA tournament,” captain Ali Hart ’12 said.

Head Coach Kris Herman expects a great deal from her team, which looks to build upon the skill of five rookies. “[The rookies have] been a great part of the team thus far,” she said. “Four of the five have experience as either pitchers or catchers and that means they are extremely valuable in both practice and will be in games.”

The team graduated three seniors last year, Caitlyn Cain ’11, Carly Ameen ’11 and Mary Beth Daub ’11. All three played instrumental roles on the team and played in four NESCAC tournaments during their time at the College. Cain led the team in batting average, and Daub pitched more than 40 percent of the innings last year. “We graduated three seniors last year, but we we’re lucky enough to keep one of them, Caitlyn Cain, on as an assistant coach,” Hart said. “She has been such a great teammate and captain, and it’s so nice to have her around for more support.” While Herman thinks the graduated seniors will be sorely missed, she is not concerned about the impact their graduation will have on the upcoming season.

Hart has high hopes for the rookies, Zoe Dillon-Davidson ’15, Mo Frank ’15, Emma Harrington ’15, Lindsey Precht ’15 and Emalie Rott ’15. “They’re all such great girls who love softball and bring such a fresh energy to our team,” she said. “They will definitely be called upon to make serious contributions on the field this season.”

The team hopes to improve upon last year’s successes. “Our strength is that we work hard, we hold ourselves to high standards and we know how to get things done,” Herman said.

Herman is looking forward to this season’s match-ups. “Our first game after spring break is with Amherst. All of the NESCAC games are crucial, yet we also have an aim of improving our midweek record,” Herman said.

“Williams softball has always had a team culture of cohesion and commitment – we eat, sleep, work and play as a team,” Hart said. “This year, we have simply built upon that foundation to elevate our team by calling on each individual player to accommodate the needs of the team.”

The women will jumpstart their season at the National Training Center Spring Games in Florida over spring break, starting with games against Concordia and Lawrence on March 19. Over the course of the next few weeks, Williams will also compete against Allegheny and Wisconsin Eau Claire on March 20, Western Conn. and Hope on March 22, Luther and Buffalo State on March 23, Tufts and Wisconsin Whitewater on March 24, MIT and Oberlin on March 26 and DePauw on March 27 before returning to the East coast. The women will then play three games against archrival Amherst, one home on March 30 and a doubleheader at Amherst on March 31, and will travel to Wesleyan on April 6 before hosting their NESCAC rivals for a doubleheader on April 7.

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