By Nick Pantages
The Springfield College baseball and softball teams made their annual trips to Florida over spring break this year.
In eight games, the baseball team went 4-4, however the softball team had a blazing start, winning nine of 10, with two by mercy rule. The Pride won their first six games of the season in Florida, then bounced back with three more wins in a row after a loss against Simpson College.
The stress of playing such a large amount of games in a short amount of time can be strenuous to some. The baseball team played eight games in seven days, while the softball team played 10 in six days. Despite the quick turnarounds, many of the players are comfortable in those situations.
“Eight games in seven days is strenuous, but we did nine in seven games last year so we get used to it,” senior baseball player Cadin Maynard said.
First-year Amelia DeRosa on the softball team said, “A lot of us have experience playing a lot of games in a short span of time.”
The softball team was led by dominant pitching, allowing just over three runs per game, combined with three shutouts, against Fredonia, Genoso, and Wis. Lutheran. DeRosa started two of the shutouts, one of them being a complete game, with fellow first-year Lily McCauliffe finishing the last two innings of the other one. Graduate student Gillian Kane pitched the third complete game.
There was also clutching hitting for the Pride. In their opening game against Carroll, the score was 3-3 in the top of the seventh inning, but a DeRosa RBI single followed by a single to drive her in by Breannah McCann gave the Pride a 5-3 victory.
“There were multiple instances where we started a rally late or with two outs and didn’t let the pressure affect us,” DeRosa said. “We didn’t let previous mistakes happen again.”
In a game against Franklin & Marshall, Springfield was at the plate in the bottom half of the decisive seventh inning in a 2-2 ballgame. First-year Kate Katsetos came to the plate and delivered a leadoff double. After two outs, Katsetos advanced to third on a passed ball. Doyle came to the plate, and hit a walk off infield single, narrowly beating out the throw.
Springfield did some damage with the bat. The Pride scored almost 6 runs per game, and had 3 players rack up double digit hits. Senior Mackenzie Doyle had 16 hits and led the team with 4 stolen bases, while junior Michaela Ponticello had 12 hits, including a home run and team leading nine runs batted in.
However, they were both topped by DeRosa at the plate, who had a whopping 19 hits.
In total, DeRosa threw 20.2 innings on the mound and allowed just a single run, while simultaneously leading the Pride in batting average, where she collected 19 hits in 38 at bats.
“My goal as a teammate is to contribute in any way possible, whether that’s with the bat, my pitching, or cheering from the dugout. I was definitely a little nervous coming in this week but I just stayed confident in my abilities,” DeRosa said. “I definitely surprised myself though.”
The baseball team also had a successful spring break. Coach Mark Simeone’s squad went 4-4 in Florida, alternating wins and losses throughout the course of eight games. The Pride scored over four runs per game.
In their opening game in Florida against Muhlenberg, senior Blake Roberge threw four shutout innings, and consecutive RBI singles in the second inning by Andrew McCarty and Noah Diamond was all the offense the Pride needed to secure a 2-1 win, the first of the season.
In their second win against Hamilton, strong pitching by Connor Caverly and the Pride’s bullpen was key in the win, and Cadin Maynard helped deliver the offense, scoring a run in the third inning and collecting an RBI in the seventh inning to give the Pride a 3-2 victory.
At-bats in a clutch situation might be stressful to some, but it is almost second nature to Maynard.
“A lot of it has to do with self-talk. I like telling myself that there’s no other person I’d want up in that moment than myself,” Maynard said. “It may be a big clutch at-bat, but I’ve had thousands and thousands of at bats in my life.”
Win number three was a 12-1 mercy rule victory against Utica. The Pride scored six runs in the first inning and that was more than enough support for first-year Ryan Baker, who delivered in his first career start, pitching four innings and not allowing a single hit.
“The pitching has been great, all of those guys are out there competing,” Maynard said.
In their last win, Bowdoin led 8-3 after the end of the second inning, but the Pride responded with eight runs in the third frame to take the lead for good, and the game was capped off with home runs by Cole Zalegowski in the fifth inning and Ryan Sorgi in the eighth inning to complete a 13-9 win for Springfield, with a strong, four-inning one-run outing for Kelleher-Mochak out of the bullpen.
To date, the Pride sit with a record of 4-6-1, something that Maynard believes should be higher.
“Right now, as a team and myself, we aren’t hitting the way we should. We had a great offense last year, and we haven’t been anywhere near that,” Maynard said.
Although they have struggled at the plate so far, Maynard sees a lot of upside for the squad.
“I have full faith in us as a team and myself.”
Photo Courtesy Springfield College Athletics