During spring break, while most students were catching up on sleep, the Elizabethtown College softball team was battling through 12 grueling games in the Clermont, Fla. heat.
Hungry to prove that they could defeat such teams as those from The College of New Jersey and Moravian College, the Blue Jays played hard and came away with a strong 14-2 victory in their first game against TCNJ. This was unfortunately soured a bit by a close 5-2 loss to TCNJ five days later.
However, the Blue Jays came out on top in a close game against Moravian. After extra innings, Etown achieved an 8-7 victory in what senior pitcher Julie Sebastian described as “the most exhilarating game.” On Tuesday, Moravian took two from the Lady Jays, winning 4-3 and 10-1 in a doubleheader.
Ultimately finishing up the week with seven wins and five losses, the team is proud of their accomplishments, but they know they must keep working and not let the success cloud their vision. “We are very capable of doing great things,” Head Coach Kathy Staib said. “We have to believe in ourselves and work and play hard every day for that to happen.”
Coming back from Florida for their first home game of the season, the Jays were confident as they prepared for a doubleheader against Muhlenberg College last Wednesday.
In the first game of the series, the Blue Jays had some difficulty until the fourth inning, when junior Elly McCarthy hit a double to start a rally that gained the team three runs that inning, eventually leading to a 7-3 victory. However, as first-year left fielder Katie Appleby mentioned, the team soon learned that history does not always repeat itself.
Muhlenberg switched pitchers for the second game, causing Etown to struggle at the plate, which showed in the game’s final score of 9-0. When discussing this loss Appleby noted, “You can’t take any team lightly. It’s a whole new game no matter how many times you play them.”
While they have had mixed results thus far, the team has a significant amount of potential. “Everyone’s contributing so much,” Sebastian said. The senior boasts consistently strong pitching and junior Courtney Comstock has provided a solid backbone for the team behind the plate as catcher.
Meanwhile the batting lineup has proven to be successful in its own right, with power hitters such as Comstock and McCarthy, who already has two homeruns to her name this season. As Sebastian mentioned, with so many quality players, the team has a big advantage.
Sebastian also noted that the team has an advantage because they are very close and supportive of each other. “The team really feels like a family,” she stated. “It makes you want to go to practice and games.”
This tight bond may partially be due to the friendships that were established and reinforced during the team’s trip to Florida. During the 18-hour bus rides in each direction, team dinners, strenuous softball games, trips to the pool and ice cream shop, and impromptu volleyball games, the team established a closeness that strengthens them on and off the field.
As they look forward to the upcoming season, the team intends to take the season game-by-game, but they are optimistic and enthusiastic for the future. “With this group of girls we’re going to accomplish a lot. I know we’ll go far,” Sebastian said.