By Nicholas Troiano
The Sacred Heart University softball team is heading into the 2017 season with high hopes on making it to the Northeastern Conference (NEC) playoffs.
Despite a 13-34-2 record last season, the team is ready and determined to improve as a group in order to have a winning record this season.
The players are also looking to improve on a conference record of 4-12 from last season.
They are looking to improve their .223 batting average from the year prior.
“Our weakness was hitting, which included a low batting average combined with low quality at bats. During the off season we worked on being more aggressive, not being selfish, and moving runners over,” said head coach Pam London.
The offseason work that the players have done is going to be essential to the success of the season.
“Some of the main issues from last season were that we lacked good team chemistry and didn’t play together as a team the way we wanted to,” said senior Kelyn Fillmore. “The team is determined to leave all the selfish softball behind them as they move into the 2017 campaign with a new mindset of working together as one collective unit.”
In addition to this, the team looks to build off the strengths of last season, which included leadership and pitching.
“The strengths of our team is the leadership of our seniors. The experiences that they have been through allow them to be able share knowledge with the younger players,” said London.
London added that the experiences from the seniors will allow them to be ready for a NEC playoff run.
Regardless of needing to improve in certain areas, the team has one strong and clear goal in mind.
“Our goal is to improve our record from last season, make it to NEC conference, and to perform up to our potential,” said junior Lauren Delgadillo.
The team backed up their word with their actions as they participated in the Buffalo Wild Wings Classic tournament on Feb. 24 and Feb. 25 in Greenville, S.C.
“We gained a lot of confidence during the tournament which is proving that our hard work is paying off. We need to produce offensively to take the pressure off our pitching,” said London.
Despite losing in the first game of the tournament, the team did much better than they expected to as they had 43 hits in just four games.
“We went into the tournament wanting to play together and stay positive and we did that. Also we hit much better than we thought we were going to,” said freshman
London and the players are looking forward to building off the hitting success of the tournament in order to reach their potential in the NEC.
“We want to prove to everyone doubting us that we are a strong threat in the NEC,” said Fillmore.