The Springfield College softball team started last season 25-5, setting the school record for most wins in the first 30 games.
But the Pride lost their last nine games of the season, and finished 26-14.
This year though, Team 60 will be taking a different approach.
The team has been working with a sports psychologist, working on mindset, and honing on the motto of “one game at a time.” This, of course, is all in preparation to begin and finish the 2023 campaign strong.
“I think (the sports psychologist) helped us a lot,” senior captain Margaret Britt said. “Most sports are more of a mental game and for years that’s been overlooked. It’s been really helpful to get us out of our heads, realize we’ve been playing softball our whole lives, and that we’re capable of going far. ”
Head coach Kate Bowen is thrilled at the way the offseason has gone so far.
“It’s just such a great group,” Bowen said. “What I’m most excited about is (the fact that) since day one of preseason, we’ve been locked in.”
With the cold, unpredictable weather of the northeast, the Pride usually spend the majority of the preseason practicing in the fieldhouse and in the Annex, where they can take batting practice. Unlike most years though, the team has been able to practice primarily outside on Potter Field, with the occasional batting practice inside.
Springfield suffers the loss of key contributors Sam Witmer and Ava Fernandez, but the Pride will be welcoming back graduate students Kristen Acocella, Gillian Kane, All-American senior Mackenzie Doyle, as well as their four captains: senior Dana Sericchio, junior Callie Gendron, junior Alli Olsen and Britt.
Kane is hoping to continue her success from the 2022 season as she dominated on the mound, earning 14 wins on the mound, while having a 2.02 ERA.
Doyle, (.485 AVG), Gendron (.347 AVG, two home runs) , and Acocella (nine doubles, two home runs) will look to anchor the offense building off last year’s achievements, as the trio were big components at the plate last season.
“We have a lot of young and returning talent,” Sericchio said. “We’re just so excited to get started.”
The Pride will start their season this weekend as they host Worcester St. for a doubleheader on Saturday, March 8. After that, they will have eight days off, and then head to Florida to begin their annual spring games, beginning on March 12.
They will face teams from all over the country, playing a staggering 10 games in five days – including five doubleheaders. For many teams, this could be an exhausting trip. But, even with that amount of games in a short period of time, Bowen knows her team will be ready to go.
“It’s a really great atmosphere down there,” Bowen said. “It’s the start of our season and I know we are prepared and ready.”