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The Blue & Gray Press | October 16, 2018

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Varsity softball, a second family

Varsity softball, a second family

By VICTORIA GRANT

Staff Writer

On Wednesday, Apr. 18, the UMW softball team lost to CNU 10-1 at the 3 p.m. game. The game ended in the fifth inning and although UMW was defeated, they have had a great season so far and are continuing to grow as a team.

Concluding the doubleheader, UMW lost 7-3 against CNU. In the sixth inning the Eagles tied up the game with three runs.

On Apr. 20, the Eagles held another doubleheader against Frostburg St. University and lost game one with a score of 3-2 and game two with a final score of 7-3.

On Apr. 21, UMW ended the regular season by catching two wins over Southern Virginia University. The first game the Eagles won 10-0 and won game two with a score of 5-1. The Eagles will now be proceeding to the CAC tournament the weekend of the 27th.

Junior Courtney Shea stated, “This season is a building year for sure. We have a really young team and are trying to figure everything out as it goes.”

Freshman Morgan Mumford said, “Overall, our season was off to a slow start, but I believe we have grown so much as a team and we have a long way to go.” The team is continuing to work hard and push through any obstacles they face.

Sophomore Hannah Bruns, #3, was batted in to put UMW on the board with one run during the game.

The players stayed confident and pushed hard throughout the game. Sophomore Danielle Newman said, “We pretty much have the same game plan going into every game, being confident, aggressive and control the controllables. Also, before each game each section of the field sets goals to maintain throughout the games and then we’ll go over them the next practice.”

Within five minutes of the game, CNU took the lead by scoring a run. Sophomore Jamie Purtell, #1, stated, “CNU has always been high in our conference and attacks the ball when they are up at the plate which makes them stand out.”

Shea stated, “CNU is the top team in the conference and a really tough team over all. Compared to other teams they’re very good and disciplined hitters which just means our defense had to work that much harder.”

CNU is a big competitor for UMW and one of our school’s biggest rivals. CNU scored all of their runs by the first three innings and the game ended after five.

Newman mentioned that Christopher Newport is really aggressive at the plate and they have some strong bats.

Freshman Rachel Porchie stated, “CNU is nationally ranked and they’re one of the better teams we’ve seen this year.”

Both Shea and Purtell mentioned that going into every game the team thinks of their opponent as nameless and that any team can beat any team. This mentality is needed when playing against different teams often and staying confident each game.

The team definitely bonds well together and recently all took a trip to Myrtle Beach over spring break. The players act as a family and are support systems for each other.

Mumford says, “What I love most about being a softball player at UMW is that it isn’t just about the game or being an athlete. We are involved in our community and we are a family. We are students first, and we are actively making a difference on and off the field.”

Newman mentioned that being a softball player at UMW gave her an instant second family.

Purtell stated that what she likes most about being a softball player at UMW is her team and she says it is like another family that always has your back.

The team has some traditions that they do before each game. Before every game each player lines up in number order and draw their numbers in the dirt using their cleat. The team’s coach also gives them each a skittle or other candy for good luck.

The girls also make a tunnel for the players in the field to run through onto the field before the first inning.

Porchie stated another tradition they have, “At the end of every week, we have an appreciation circle where everyone goes around and says something they appreciated about another teammate. It helps us look at the positives from the week and acknowledge others hard work.”