Gator softball hits home run with young team

With an overall record of 5-9, the Allegheny women’s softball team has high hopes for the remainder of the season. Head Coach Beth Curtiss, Megan Hazlett, ’19, and Hailey Marthaler, ’16, all want to improve the team’s overall playing performance, grow more as a family and win the NCAC softball championship.

Although the team is made up of mostly underclassmen, the women are motivated to improve and do well in games.

“As a team, I want to make the NCAC playoff and win the tournament,” said Hazlett. “It’s been four years since we’ve won it.”

In addition to practices and training, Hazlett and Marthaler said that the the team’s close bond help them play well during games.

“We have a lot of chemistry and a lot of fun,” said Marthaler. “We’re always laughing and dancing, but we’re all very talented players. That’s why we work well.”

Curtiss has been coaching at Allegheny for four years, and she is determined to finish in the top four of the conference and win the NCAC championship again. Despite the team’s young players, she believes that they have a chance at making their dreams a reality.

“First and foremost we want to play our best during conference play which we now are just beginning,” said Curtiss. “And to finish in the top four in the conference that gets us a place at our conference tournament, and then our goal is to win that. We have a lot of inexperienced players right now out on the field. We have sophomores and juniors that haven’t been starters before that are starting now. I want to see a lot of growth out of them over the course of the next month and to see us continue to improve offensively.”

Curtiss thinks that the younger players’ lack of experience will work to the team’s advantage during the season.

“They are very much a family and are a lot more selfless than any other group I’ve had,” said Curtiss. “They work really hard and they’re all here for the right reasons. We’re just a little bit young and inexperienced. But I do think that that’s kind of like a secret weapon. We could surprise a lot of people in our conference and we have just as good a shot as anyone at winning the NCAC.”

Hazlett said that their biggest weakness is that they are low in numbers of experienced players, but they have a lot of talent and diversity on the field.

“Our level of commitment, trust and friendship is so strong,” Hazlett said. “There are never any conflicts. We’re just there for each other no matter what.”

This is Marthaler’s last season playing for the Gators and she is sad to say goodbye to the game, the coaches and her teammates after the season ends.

“I would love to win the NCAC championship,” said Marthaler. “But I want to focus on enjoying my last season. I want to make the most out of every bat, every practice and every game. I’m going to miss putting my uniform on. That is something that I love doing on game day, and of course I am going to miss the girls.”

The Gators continue their journey to the NCAC championship on April 16 at 3:30 p.m. at Robertson  Athletic Complex for their Senior Day game against DePauw University.