Sports

Softball team hopes for big season with a lot of young talent to work with

Castleton State College women’s softball team is feeling very confident as they look ahead to their season.
Head Coach Chris Chapdelaine has high hopes for his team to remain at the top of the standings and is also looking for development and consistency among his very young team as the season progresses.
The team has only one senior, Tori Fearon, and nearly half the team is made up of freshmen.
Chapdelaine talked about the significance of a young team. He said there isn’t as much of a pressure factor that a team with many seniors or upperclassmen might create.
“Being young is always a positive to me, you get to watch them grow,” Chapdelaine said.
Despite losing star pitcher, Taylor Lively, from last year’s team, Chapdelaine isn’t too worried about success on the mound.
“Not concerned about it at all. They’re all different in their own ways and complement each,” Chadelaine said.
Kayla Wood who was a former Brattleboro standout, feels good moving from high school into college.
“Since working with the team in the fall, it’s been an easy transition,” Wood said.
She said it wasn’t very different playing in college than it was in high school, but said the real difference was strategy from coach-to-coach.
Even though Wood is young, she holds high standards-saying she “definitely” thinks its possible to win a championship.
Junior Stephanie Sylvester is confident in how the team will perform this year.
“I know we’ll be good,” Sylvester said emphatically.
However, an area of concern she mentioned was the mental toughness of her youthful team. Sylvester said the biggest problem she sees occurring is freshmen “staying in it” mentally.
Sylvester said Chapdelaine has changed the way they practice, bringing a more realistic look. She says he has them do more scrimmages to ready them for the kinds of pitches they will see that a hitting machine doesn’t offer.
In talking about success, Sylvester mentioned a concept Chapdelaine had introduced to the team about coming out of the gym. It revolved around the teams’ pre-season preparation, which mainly takes place inside the gymnasium because weather doesn’t allow them to be outside.
“The team that best comes out of the gym will be the best,” said Sylvester.