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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Softball looks to position itself for another A-10 run

Hatchet File Photo
Softball has leveraged the postseason experience of its upperclassmen to lead the team this year.

Softball is preparing to return to the field Friday, setting their sights on a second consecutive bid to the NCAA tournament under the new leadership of Head Coach Chrissy Schoonmaker.

The Colonials are looking to build on last season’s success, when they took first place in both the A-10 regular season and A-10 Championship under former Head Coach Shane Winkler, as the team heads into the nonconference slate following the end of the preseason. Schoomaker said the team has strong potential to put themselves in the same position they were last season for a chance at the A-10 title.

“You don’t control winning and losing, but we control how we prepare, how we train and how we execute,” Schoonmaker said. “And those are the things we have right now in our preseason prep are constantly talking about how we do things every day, how we prepare, how we train.”

Schoonmaker has prioritized creating a support system for each team member to emphasize a positive environment. She said the senior players have forged a familial environment for new players and helped them get accustomed to life as Division I student athletes.

Schoonmaker said the team has been working to consolidate their pitching performance on the mound. She said they have also been working on team mentality for the rest of the season to ensure a strong team effort through their offense.

“That means playing small game, bunts, hit and runs, putting batters in motion,” Schoonmaker said. “And then certainly, I think in any winning softball program, you cannot ever underestimate the ability and what it means to be strong on the mound.”

Schoonmaker said she looks forward to watching the underclassmen who were a part of the championship program step into more prominent roles.

Graduate utility player Sierra Lange said Schoonmaker has helped players who haven’t started much yet grow into their new responsibilities. She said she is excited to find “new ways to win” and for another chance to play again.

“I know we’re still in a pandemic,” Lange said. “So any chance to get out there, it’s a blessing, and so with all this uncertainty, any chance we get to practice and play with each other and staying healthy is the big goal of this season.”

Graduate student utility player Alessandra Ponce said the team is looking to build a culture based off of the high standards set by the success of last year. She said the team has been working to create a group mentality for all 19 players to be present on the field at some point in the season and develop everyone on the roster.

“Knowing that everyone has a role and will play a role this year, I can’t imagine just seeing nine on the field for the season,” she said. “I think in order to win and to compete at the highest level, we’re going to utilize all 19 players here.”

After key names like utility players Faith Weber and Jessica Linquist, infielders Jenna Cone and Amber Lotz and outfielder Sidney Bloomfield, graduated last season, Ponce said the team has focused on utilizing all offensive and defensive components and decreasing their reliance on power hitting as less experienced players take the field.

“We’re not necessarily relying on a whole run from every person, we just need to go move base-to-base, base hits, doubles, like I said, utilizing the small game,” Ponce said. “I think that’s exciting.”

Ponce said the new players, freshman infielder Taylor Puig, utility player Gabby Polsky and graduate student pitcher Maddy Dwyer, have easily transitioned to the team due to the already-established culture. She said the preseason slate has allowed them to get to know each other better, which translates into their cohesiveness on the field.

“Just letting everyone know how much we believe in that, how capable we are,” Ponce said. “GW softball does amazing things, not necessarily because we’re the most talented. But we do the right things, and we do the little things. And talent can only go so far, but our hard work and everything makes us more talented on top of just our skill.”

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