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Softball Season’s Early Hopes

Claire+Stefanelli+scores+a+grand+slam+during+the+opening+game+of+the+NYU+Softball+Team%E2%80%99s+2017+season%2C+March+5.
Claire Stefanelli scores a grand slam during the opening game of the NYU Softball Team’s 2017 season, March 5.

Claire Stefanelli scores a grand slam during the opening game of the NYU Softball Team’s 2017 season, March 5.

via gonyuathletics.com

via gonyuathletics.com

Claire Stefanelli scores a grand slam during the opening game of the NYU Softball Team’s 2017 season, March 5.

Nika Woodfill, Deputy Sports Editor

As the NYU softball team opens its season, it looks to build off last year’s impressive season, in which the Violets finished with a 26-15 record and clinched the ECAC Division III Metro Championship.

The team defeated Fairleigh Dickinson University-Florham 7-5 last year, to secure the Championship title for the first time in the program’s two-year history.

The players are hopeful that they can achieve similar results this year and further develop their talent this season, sophomore outfielder Ashley Mains said.

“Overall I think our goals for the season are to improve, win and make it to the NCAA championships,” Mains said.

The team underwent drastic administrative changes this year, hiring four new assistant coaches, including Chris Foye, the former Felician University softball team head coach.

The team dynamic has fluctuated greatly over the past two years — last year’s winning squad was comprised of 13 freshmen, and this year’s team has seven new recruits in addition to the fresh coaching staff. According to senior third basewoman Molly Webber, the team is addressing these changes and working on team bonding.

“We are looking to strengthen our team dynamic,” Webber said. “Having a handful of new recruits demands our attention to detail. We must initiate creating a strong bond as a team from the start in order to be able to rely on one another all year long.”

Despite these challenges, Webber said the team is working hard to improve.

“Our hard work will pay off in the end,” Webber said. “We have dedicated countless hours on and off the field in preparation for opening day.”

Mains mirrored Webber’s confidence in the team’s ability to perform.

“Our strengths are winning and getting results,” Mains said. “We have a lot of athleticism and talent on our roster.”

The Violets faced against Fairleigh Dickinson University-Florham for a pair of games to open their season yesterday where they won 20-4 in the first game before losing 11-9. They will travel to Florida next to play a doubleheader on Monday against Hamilton College and Stockton University.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, March 6 print edition.

Email Nika Woodfill at [email protected]

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Softball Season’s Early Hopes