On Sunday, April 15 the Castleton softball team swept the University of Maine at Farmington in a double-header, winning the first game 8-1 and the second 6-0. The Spartans are now ranked first in the Northern Atlantic Conference.
Junior Emily Sweeney pitched the first game and caught a pop fly in the seventh inning to end the game.
“Our teamwork has improved tremendously over the past couple weeks. I also think our dedication to the sport has helped us a lot. We stay after practice and people are actually focusing on trying to get better,” she said. “We can’t be cocky, we have to be confident. I mean anything can happen, a game can go any way.”
Junior Taylor Lively pitched the second game and held the Beavers scoreless with the help of her outfield.
In the sixth inning Margy Kerschner fielded a grounder at third base and threw a runner out at second. In turn Mercedes Maltbie fired the ball to Caitlin Probst to complete the double play at first base, ending the inning.
Lively said that this is the first winning season the team has had since 2005.
“We really struggled hitting in the past few years that we’ve been here, and this year we’re coming together as a team more,” she said.
Assistant coach Bridgette Olson thinks that the team has a good shot at taking the NAC title this season.
“They’re all working together, they’re all gelling. The hitting is getting timely, and the pitching is being dominant, and we’re just rolling with it,” she said. “We’re pretty much writing history as we go along because we haven’t been number one since I’ve played here. It’s a great feeling to be on top for a little while.”
Olson started coaching the Spartans in 2005 and played as shortstop for the team the four years before that.
The Spartans play their final NAC game on Saturday, April 21 at Johnson State College. If they remain seeded first, they will host the NAC playoffs at Castleton’s home field.