Monday, Jan. 26 marked the beginning of Allegheny’s women’s softball season. The women are practicing indoors at the Wise Center due to winter weather conditions. The Gators are preparing for their first competition against Shenandoah University in Salem, VA in March.
Head coach Beth Curtiss described the difficulties of playing a spring sport indoors.
“Obviously, we are limited with what we can do with our outfielders and the floor is much different than playing in the dirt and grass, but we make the best of what we have inside,” Curtiss said. “We have two cages and lot of space to run full infield practice, as well as long throwing for outfielders. We do a lot of live hitting and even play some live indoor games, so we are still getting so much accomplished.”
A different approach to practices and the basics to the sport has been adapted by the Gators due to weather conditions.
“The first week has included a lot of speed training workouts,” said Curtiss. “We are also lifting in addition to our regular practice routines. The pitchers have begun their more intense workouts with Coach Green and we spend plenty of time batting off the machines and tees. We are focusing right now on the basics of defense, making sure our footwork is correct, as well as throwing motion and how they get in position to field a ball.”
In addition to speedy and agility, the Gators focus on the mental aspects of the game. Loryn “Belle” Mazurik, ‘16, shares the new program.
“This year we also tried something a little different,” Mazurik said. “We had a program that focused on our mentality and targeting mental toughness. As a team, we came up with team goals and expectations. We are all about having a positive mentality going into all softball related things.”
Mazurik describes the team’s aspirations for the 2015 season.
“Our team is really looking to work together, and form a supportive atmosphere this year,” Mazurik stated. “We expect that there will be failure, but we are going to use that failure to motivate us. We have our sights set on the conference tournament, and then it’s up in the air as far as that goes. Anything is possible. We are just taking it one day at a time right now.”
The softball team is determined to integrate new team members and build on previous seasons.
“We have a lot of incoming freshmen that can fill some gaps that left us out of playoffs last season,” said Mazurik. “I am excited to how they adjust at the collegiate level, and to see how far we go. My freshman year left us wanting more when we were defeated in the championship game before the DIII College World Series.”
Jaricka Simmerman, ‘18, shares her goals for the upcoming season.
“I hope to bring a positive attitude and just to fill in a position, whatever it is, that will benefit the rest of the team,” said Simmerman.
The Gators focus as a team is to bond and work together.
“Our vision for this season is ‘Building a family that believes in moving forward together to reach our goals and create the legacy’,” stated Curtiss.
Women’s softball will compete in their first game on March 13-14 at the Roanoke College Bash in Salem, VA.