Baseball and softball travel south during spring break

Gators head to Arizona and Florida to compete and train in warmer weather

The Allegheny baseball and softball teams are in the midst of action-packed seasons, but when spring break rolled around, both teams were able to get away from campus and enjoy warmer weather down south.

The baseball team embarked for Tucson, Arizona, to prepare for, as well as compete in games in the Tucson Invitational Tournament. Sophomore infielder, Noah Moore, emphasized the togetherness aspect of the trip as a huge part of the team’s development and overall success moving forward.

“Just getting meals together, staying in a hotel, just spending a lot of time together with guys really just helps us bond as a team,” Moore said.

The team’s trip to Tucson consisted of training sessions along with seven non-conference regular season games in which the Gators finished with a 5-2 record. Moore talked about the competition the team faced during the trip.

“I think the NCAC is a really good conference, so I’d say the teams we faced up in Arizona were of a little bit lesser competition,” Moore said. “I don’t really know what their conference is like, but there are definitely some good teams down there, good competition.”

Moore talked about how although the conferences the teams were in weren’t necessarily as strong as the NCAC, they still posed a formidable threat.

Catcher Jimmy Hurley, ’21, spoke about the team’s expectations going into the season and how the spring trip to Arizona proved to be a turning point in the team’s season.

“This season we got off to a bit of a slow start as we started 0-5,” Hurley said. “After we went on the spring trip to Arizona where we went 5-2, our record improved to 7-7, so we’re on a hot streak right now, and we are happy with the way we are playing at the moment.”

As the team improves and moves toward the NCAC tournament, Hurley said there is much to be optimistic and excited about with the team that they have this season, and Hurley emphasized  the importance of the spring training trip to the team’s current success.

“We haven’t been there in a few years, but I feel we have the team to not only get to the NCAC tournament this season, but also win it,” Moore said. “We are playing hot right now, ever since our spring trip, and that’s how we always expected to play. This team has what it takes.”

The Gator softball team traveled to Clermont and Kissimmee, Florida, for its spring trip, training and taking on some non-conference opponents in the National Training Center Spring Tournament.

The Gators finished spring break with a 4-8 record, facing strong competition, but they have improved and made strides as a team, according to sophomore pitcher and first baseman Tori Vradenburg.

This team has what it takes.

— Noah Moore, Class of 2021

“So far the season has gone pretty well,” Vradenburg said. “We went up against highly-ranked teams and played well as a team and just got better everyday.”

For the team, the spring trip represented a great opportunity to bond and become closer, something Vradenburg emphasized as she described the teams continuous development into a team that hopes to compete for a spot in the NCAC tournament.

“Togetherness is definitely a really important aspect in any good team — just being there for each other and cheering our teammates on is really crucial to our success”, Vradenburg said.

The trip was also the last spring trip for the rising seniors on the team, something they and the team’s younger athletes cherish. The time spent bonding together as a team is a way to become closer as teammates and as friends, and will help them become a better team in the future, according to Vradenburg.

“We will definitely miss all of the seniors on this team,” Vradenburg said. “It’s really crazy to think that in a couple months when the season is over, they’ll be leaving.”

Vradenburg expressed the optimism Gator softball feels moving forward as the team closes in on the season’s end.

“We are getting better everyday as a team, and hopefully we can finish the season strong,” Vradenburg said. “The main thing is working as hard as we can and also having fun, which is the most important part.”

The season is now just about halfway done, and returning from the Florida trip served as a way to reflect on how the season has been going, what the team’s objectives are, and whether or not it has been reaching those goals.

“I just try to be the best pitcher I can be for this team,” Vradenburg said. “I just try my best to help the team be successful any way that I can.”