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Softball team prepares for upcoming 2017 season opener

Rachel Belson, Staff Writer

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The softball team will begin its season on Saturday, March 11 in a doubleheader against Washington and Jefferson College. This season’s captains are outfielder Taylor Massart, ’17; first baseaman Abrianna Sadler, ’17; and catcher and shortstop Jessica Zavolta, ’18.

“We’re very excited,” said second baseman Rachel Ramsey, ’18. “We’re ready to start, ready to be outside in the warm weather, and I think this is going to be a fun team to come watch.”

Ramsey said she wants Allegheny to see how much the team has grown and is continuing to grow.

“Big [goals] for us are starting off on the best note that we can down in Florida,” Head Coach Beth Curtiss said.

The team is hoping to come out strong and put some of the other teams in tough spots, Ramsey said.

Pitcher Allison Cabo, ’17, said the team had many setbacks last year and things happened that were beyond their control.

“Our goal is really to play up to our potential because that was our biggest issue last year,” Cabo said.

Curtiss wants the team to set the tone for this year within the first few weeks of the season, starting with the team’s spring break trip to Florida.

Baylee Tarnowki, ’19, pitches to Arissa Spitalny, ’19, while Shannon Putman, ’20, catches during women’s softball practice practice on Tuesday, March 7, 2017.

“We haven’t been outside as much as the other teams, but I think we’ll be able to compete with any team we play,” Curtiss said. “Some big things that we are changing this year is that we’re a lot more aggressive with our short games, so bunting and slapping — we’ve done a lot more work with that, and we’ve done a lot more work with aggressive baserunning.”

Curtiss said that the team is faster this year, and the pitchers are more experienced.

“We’ve had all of our 6 a.m. practices, weekend practices, lifting,” Ramsey said. “We’ve been going pretty hard and full-force the past two months.”

Ramsey said the team will be traveling to Florida for spring break where they will let some excitement out before the season fully begins. She said they will see how they work together and see how every player works in game situations.

Curtiss said that a big change this year is the team’s tempo and the women have been focused on chemistry and learning how to transfer their chemistry to the field.

“The better you know people, the better you’re going to want to play for them, the better you’re going to want to give everything for your teammates and for your team,” Cabo said.

Cabo said the team is fully focused and have been working hard during practices.

“I have a really good group of seniors. They’re the first recruiting class of mine here,” Curtiss said. “They are five very committed student athletes.”

Curtiss said for the first three or four weeks, the team’s practices are fast-paced because they do more circuit practices and are striving to be more aggressive in their defense. She said the team worked hard in the off-season and during the past six weeks’ practices because they want to be successful.

“I love our team. The chemistry we have as a team is pretty impressive,” Ramsey said. “We jive really well and I think that’s going to be a big impact for the team to come through in game situations because we are able to rely on each other and are able to trust each other a lot.”

Cabo said she is looking forward to playing multiple games while in Florida and seeing everything the team has worked on come into play during games.

“I feel like we have a lot more experience, so we can do more this year with what we have,” Curtiss said. “They’re a great group. I’m looking forward to a very successful spring.”

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Softball team prepares for upcoming 2017 season opener