Hawks softball starts off 8-2

Anna Boris, Crier Staff

The Saint Anselm softball team is soaring after their record-breaking 8-2 start during spring training. This is the best tournament record in the last two decades. Spring training took place in Clermont, Florida, from March 1st to the 8th.

As a whole, playing in Florida was beneficial not only to the Hawk’s performance, but also to the team dynamic. Last year, the softball team graduated four seniors who were a core part of the team. This year there are six new freshmen who have stepped up to fill in the missing roles. The team captains believe that spring training had a huge impact on the team, and was a turning point.

“Going to Florida helped the team dynamic since we’re with each other for a full week living together,” said Captain Hannah Byrne. “It helps us get to know each other on a personal level—not just on the field.”

The team is being led by Captains Hannah Byrne, Tayla Trask, and Pattie Turner, who are looking forward to the new season and are currently waiting for fields to be cleared of snow so the team can once again set foot on the field and play the game.

As the team awaits its official start to the season, it has many strengths it intends to emphasize. One includes the batting order of the team. There has been a large focus on hitting since the team started training back in September. Now when the Hawks take the field, they have a solid batting order they can rely on from the top to the bottom.

They are currently working on improving the defense and filling the holes left behind from the graduated team members. All of the freshmen have stepped up to take on these roles, and have made it a smooth transition.

“We have a lot of new people so finding that dynamic in the defense is important, seeing as we have freshmen playing in new positions,” said Captain Tayla Trask. “We just want to establish confidence in the freshmen in their new positions.”

Confidence is key to the sport, for softball is a mental game just as much as it is physical.

“That’s our biggest thing—to remind everybody that we believe in them and boost confidence,” said Byrne. “If we’re down in a game we’re going to come back and win big. That’s our mentality. We’re going to do anything we have to—whether it be sacrificing or diving—in order to get the job done.”

The captains’ goal for the season is to win the Northeast 10 Championship. Two years ago was the first time in program history that Saint A’s made the tournament, and the following year they finished fourth in the conference. Hopefully the momentum from Florida will continue into the start of the season.

All of the teams in the NE-10 are strong, so each game will be a challenge, but the Hawks are prepared.

“There’s really no one standout team in the conference, which is why on any given day the game could go either way,” said Trask. “One moment you can be doing great, and the next there can be a total 180 flip. We’re just taking it one pitch at a time and not underestimating anybody. On any given day anyone can come out and play well. We just have to take it one pitch at a time.”