Softball team excited to start 2016 season
Matt Gad – Special to the Southern News
Southern Connecticut’s softball team is raving with excitement for their upcoming 2016 campaign, as younger pieces are expected to continue playing vital roles this spring.
The lady Owls were originally expected to play their season-opening doubleheader at Pelz Field against Franklin Pierce on March 5, but the games were postponed, and a makeup date has yet to be announced.
Softball head coach Jillian Ortega has been sharing jolts of optimism heading into the spring year. Last season, the team saw crisp performances from four seniors and even wounded up with a berth in the Division II Women’s College World Series.
“It was chalk full of excitement and talent,” Ortega said. “We had a number of experienced seniors who had seen a lot of success. Likewise, there were tons of younger players who saw a lot of time.”
Senior third baseman Leanna Feerick said the team chemistry is great this year, as the girls prepare for their regular season contests. She added that he softball team all wants to see each other succeed, and describe themselves as one big “sisterhood.”
“We have a great player-coach relationship,” said Feerick. “We all know that if we ever need something we can stop by our coaches’ office, and they will see us.”
Feerick had seen mixed performances in her first three years on Southern’s softball team, and this year she is ready to “go out with a bang.”
Ortega said the overall team expectation for this campaign, is aiming for a conference title. They will also look to accomplish winning the NE-10 Tournament, come the end of April when playoffs commence.
“Our athletes are eager to make big plays,” Ortega said. “We are ready to lay out for a fly ball, or to dive into the infield for a stellar game-winning catch.”
Nevertheless, the lady Owls are poised to go out and put up a fight all season long. As Ortega noted that the majority of the roster is upperclassmen athletes, and are expected to set an example for the underclassmen.
The softball roster only has five underclassmen. Lone freshman Catherine Ursillo, and sophomores Heather Jackson, Victoria Ceballos, BryAnna McIntosh and Samantha Groskritz. The other 15 players being juniors and seniors.
Feerick being one of the seniors, she said that she wants to walk out with a ring, her last year as an Owl.
“I would like to win an NE-10 Championship,” Feerick said. “I have tried to be the best leader that I can be for my teammates and coaches.”
Southern’s softball team had their season-opening doubleheader this past Saturday against Dominican College in Orangeburg, N.Y. The Owls dropped both games, losing 4-1 and again 2-0.
The lady Owls will play 11 more games before they come back home to play on Pelz Field. Southern’s first home game doesn’t come until March 24 against Holy Family University.
Additionally, the schedule includes eight straight home games at the end of March starting with the March 24 game against Holy Family. Then follows a four-game series with the College of Saint Rose, and a doubleheader against Dowling College.
Furthermore, the Owls next nine games will be in Florida, where they take a five-day trip to Clermont starting on March 16. They will face the likes of St. Thomas Aquinas College, Eckerd College, Wayne State University, Bemidji State University, Lynn University and Saint Michael’s College.
Followed by late season matchups at home with Southern New Hampshire, Post University and Franklin Pierce, as they could be crucial games heading into postseason action at the end of April.
Photo Credit: SCSU Athletic Communications