Softball revitalized by new players

By Mathew Starner

Halfway into season, with a softball team consisting of two-thirds first years, it’s imaginably difficult to see fluidity among a team.

But the lady Scots have eased into threading all the gaps quicker than expected.

Kristen Mainz ’07, as the team’s only senior, said many fears regarding the year have started to cease. “While we started out a little shaky in practice, by time we made it to our games in L.A., there was already major improvement in the girls both as players and as team members,” she said.

Coming back from California without a win, though discouraging, may have been just another step toward the reconstruction of the program.

Olivia Abbott ’10 said she saw this progression. “Our trip to California was a little rocky in the beginning, because everyone was not used to their teammate’s style of play,” she said. “As the trip progressed, the team started to come together, and now people have settled into positions and lineups.”

One of the most impressive players to watch has been Abbott herself. Coming in as the team’s starting pitcher, Mainz recognized the talent Abbott brought to the field.

“Olivia Abbott has really shown that she is a leader and a tough player,” Mainz said. “She doesn’t let mental games get to her.”

Abbott’s leadership and tenacity has been evident in recent games such as the last two wins, when Abbot held Martin Luther College to one earned run in a 4-2 Mac victory, followed by another 12-2 win.

Even with some spotlight performances, Mainz still sees the team moving ahead as a whole.

“We have a really great team,” she said. “Everyone has been doing a good job of coming together and supporting one another while also improving themselves both on and off the field.”

Many players on the team have been observed as taking upon larger roles and synchronizing together.

“With an average of seven first years on the field at an given time, each player has stepped in to fill their roles on the field,” Abbott said.

Mainz, as well, said she has already started seeing the year as a successful one.

“Everyone has had to become a leader a little bit,” she said. “I think this year will be a really good year. I think we have a chance to win some games and do some things we did not think possible.”