North Central’s softball team flew to Florida on March 4 to begin a series of six games against St. Vincent, Husson, Roanoke, Lebanon Valley, Mount Union and Bates College.
From Monday to Thursday, the women were faced with some stiff competition. They went 0-6 during the week. They were able to gain experience and had the opportunity of playing ball before the calendar hit spring.
The softball team has not taken a spring break trip in three years. Some of the competition North Central faced, such as St. Vincent, Lebanon Valley and Mount Union, had winning records last season.
“It was an opportunity for us to see live pitching,” head coach, Allison Meadows, said. “We were able to work on some things as a team that we wouldn’t be able to work on in the gym with a small roster size.”
Just 12 women are on the roster this year.
The team was able to hit well, with both freshmen, Alex Rodriguez and Brooke Wayfield, connecting with the ball on the first day of competition.
The softball team is still searching for their first win, with an 0-14 record and a batting average of .217. Amanda Roth leads the team in batting average, hitting .447. Roth has hit the team’s only homerun. Roth and Nora Sullivan are tied for the team lead in RBIs with five each.
The baseball team took a five day trip. They achieved success on the first day of competition with a 6-5 win against Bethany Lutheran College, a conference team whom they will play four more times throughout the season.
The win was not only the team’s first of the year, but new head coach Justin Brown’s first as well.
“Coach Brown has put in so much work and dedication into the program that being able to win under him was rewarding,” sophomore captain, Bryce Riege, said.
Outside of a thin, 14-player roster, and other schools being more developed with rosters ranging from 10 to 28 more players than the Rams, the rest of the trip was a grind. The Rams played seven games in five days and ended the trip with a 1-6 record against some well-established programs.Rams players said they were able to discover some of their strengths and weaknesses.
“One major weakness is the depth of pitchers,” Brown said, “You have to have options from the health standpoint, which we don’t have.”
Brown said that most pitchers can only throw about 100 pitches before needing three or four days off, and the Rams do not have that luxury this season. He said they only have seven pitchers, about half the typical college roster of 12 to 14 pitchers.
The team is young and still developing with just one upper classman.
Riege said the men emphasize focus during practice, which must translate to games.
“They stayed the course well because it’s not easy doing what they did,” Brown said.
The baseball team’s record is 1-9. The team is hitting .231, led by Brandon Scott’s .393 average and eight RBIs. Blazsen Ferreira has the team’s sole pitching win.