By DYLAN BURKETT
At 8-1-2, UMW’s club softball team has had their best season this year since being founded in 2012. Elizabeth Haas, who became president of the team last semester, said that this season has been, “a rebuilding season, as only five girls returned from the year before.” Being almost a whole new team paved the way for new and stronger bonds between the girls on the team.
One of the most memorable points in the season for the team was the “whole tournament at UVA,” according to sophomore Alyssa Wenklar. “It bonded us tightly as a team and is one of the factors that is attributed to our success.”
Other memorable moments besides the UVA tournament include a game with a team against whom they usually struggle. The game against Longwood University, which ended in a 6-6 tie, proved that the club was able to, “compete with another very good team,” said Wenklar.
Freshman Bryanna Lansing stated that on top of the Longwood game, “having fun at practice and getting to know each other more” are other moments that she enjoys from being a part of the club.
Coming down from such an intense season is hard to do but both Lansing and Wenklar stated that being in the club allows them to, “destress, stay active and take mental breaks from finals and papers.”
Haas stated that one of the biggest differences between club and varsity is that, “Club softball offers the ability to play on a competitive softball team but without the time commitment and intensity of varsity softball. We welcome players of any skill level and practice only three times week.”
Lansing said that having the same desire to, “play competitive ball without the added stress of the varsity level” is one of the main reasons that she enjoys being a member on the team. She also said that everyone is “so supportive,” which makes for an even better atmosphere.
While the team has been practicing and playing together since last semester, Haas said that, “it wasn’t until this semester that we were able to really come together as a team.”
When asked how it felt stepping in as club president and ending up with the most successful season in club history, Haas said, “I am extremely proud of how the team performed this semester. They’re a great group of girls, who not only support each other but learn from each other. The reason I love being club softball president is because of their hard work and dedication.”
Games this season included George Washington, George Mason, Longwood, William and Mary, Virginia Commonwealth and Loyola in Maryland. Haas says that the team will face these and more schools in the coming fall semester such as the University of Maryland as well.
Coming off of such an extraordinary season, the club softball team has shown that they are a force to be reckoned with, even without putting forth the time dedications and commitments as that of being on a varsity team.
The team looks forward to having another season just as wonderful as this one in the coming fall semester.