Softball swings for conf. title

After closing off the 2012 season with a seven-game winning streak and a final record of 22-16 (7-5 in the NESCAC), softball is looking to continue its winning streak this spring. The team hopes to improve upon last year’s results and win the NESCAC title. With these goals in mind, the team trained all year and set high expectations.

Having graduated only one senior in 2012, the team is experienced and committed. However, the loss of Ali Hart ’12 won’t go unnoticed. Hart was named a First Team All-American in her senior season. She is the only Eph with this title, finishing her career at Williams as one of the most accomplished softball players in the College’s history.

Although Hart left big shoes to fill, the returning players are ready to pick up more responsibility. “[Tri-captain] Megan Casey ’13, [tri-captain] Amanda Correnti ’13, Kaitlin Dinet ’13 and Merrilee Weston ’13 all have been a big part of the program over their three seasons, and we expect them to make significant contributions” Head Coach Kris Herman said. Casey and Dinet are a force on the pitcher’s mound. Correnti returns as the starting catcher after missing the end of last season due to an injury. Weston has started at shortstop her entire career and continues to make an impact.

The junior class already made outstanding contributions and has increasing potential. Outfielders Ally Ensor ’14 and tri-captain Ali Graebner ’14 were both named All-Conference last season and led the team at the plate. Theresa Legan ’14 is a standout at second base.

Emma Harrington ’15 was statistically the team’s top pitcher last season and will only improve this season with a year of experience under her belt. Rounding out the impressive sophomore class are Zoe Dillon-Davidson ’15, Emalie Rott ’15, Lindsey Precht ’15 and Mo Frank ’15.

The team welcomes five first-years to the squad: Erica Li ’16, Kacey Cramer ’16, Tayler Donze ’16, Priscilla Pino ’16 and Melissa Cendejas ’16, who have already impressed the team. Graebner is excited to see them involved this spring. “The freshmen have seamlessly entered into the swing of things, and from what I’ve seen, we have the potential to be really great this year,” Graebner said.

The team developed their skills throughout the year, training with the Strength and Conditioning Coach Rob Livingstone. Assistant Coach Patricia Cipicchio is impressed with the team’s dedication. “The entire team committed to getting faster and stronger in the offseason, and we are looking forward to taking advantage of their hard work, especially on the bases,” Cipicchio said. “One of our big goals for the season is to wreak havoc on all sides of the ball, and aggressive base running can really set that tone.”

Herman is also confident in her team. “Our program goals are to win the NESCAC title and compete hard from there,” she said. The team’s journey to the title begins in California with 16 games on the road before a home opener against Southern Vermont on March 29. The women will open the season with a doubleheader away against Vanguard on March 18 at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.