The women’s softball team opened the 2010 season with seven wins and one loss this past week in Clermont, Fla. With multiple games lasting only five innings, the Lions proved to be a threat this season despite the prediction that the team will only place second in the New Jersey Athletic Conference.
“This 7-1 record can definitely be continued throughout the season because we have great team chemistry,” sophomore pitcher Lauren Fitzsimmons said.
The Lions opened with a pair of wins on the team’s first day in Florida on Sunday March 7, against Rochester University and Dominican University. Senior pitcher Ashley Minervini recorded six strikeouts for her first win of the season over Rochester. The Lions defeated the Yellowjackets 8-3. In the team’s second game of the day, it was Fitzsimmons who fired eight strikeouts to help the Lions triumph over Dominican University 12-1 in five innings.
On Monday March 8, the Lions once again posted two wins over The Sage College (NY) and Wisconsin Lutheran College. The Lions defeated the Gators 9-1 in six innings. Senior Ellen Seavers led the Lions with a home run and an RBI, driving in two runs. The softball team then took over the field against Wisconsin Lutheran College, 9-0 in five innings. Fitzsimmons once again took it home for the Lions, pitching a season-high 11 strikeouts and facing the minimum of 15 batters throughout the game.
The Lions came back strong from a day off on Wednesday March 10, with two more big wins in Florida. The softball team overtook Pine Manor College 16-0 in five innings. Senior Danielle Hagel had four hits and five RBIs to add to the Lions win.
Fitzsimmons threw three scoreless innings and junior Colleen Cawley made her season debut with two scoreless innings.
In the team’s 12-4 victory over Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, it was sophomore Katelyn Congilose who got the game started in the top of the first with an RBI double which drove in the three batters on base. Minervini also continued with her winning streak by allowing only four hits and gaining five strikeouts.
After a rain-out on Friday, the Lions came back for two more games on Saturday March 13, against Wesleyan University and Western New England College. The team fell to Wesleyan 10-9, but Seavers proved to help push the Lions into a close game going 4-6, with four runs batted in. The Lions came back strong in the following game, however, and defeated Western New England College 11-2 in six innings. Sophomore Rebecca Florczyk had two hits and helped to drive in five runs for the Lions.
“If we focus on taking it one game at a time and believing in ourselves and each other,” Fitzsimmons said, “I definitely think that good things will continue to happen.”
The Lions will continue the 2010 season on March 20 when taking on Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pa.