The Spartans softball team began its season in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, playing nine games and finishing with a very impressive overall record of 5-4.
Players said it was great getting away from the snow of Vermont and getting on a field.
“Being in the gym isn’t as much fun as being outside on the dirt,” said freshman Miranda Fish.
The new season marks the team’s first in the Little East Conference. The Spartans don’t begin conference play until March 23 when they travel to Dartmouth College. A week later the team finally gets its home opener when it hosts Skidmore College in a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m.
The team is coached by Eric Ramey, a popular leader who is in his eighth season coaching the Spartans. Players interviewed couldn’t say enough nice things about their head coach, including Calli Van Gorden, who credits Ramey for her decision to come back to Castleton.
This year’s team is young, with ten of the twelve players being freshmen. As a result, Ramey said he looks for leadership from veterans Micaela Madigan, Van Gorden, and four-year starter Tori Swaine.
“You hear ten freshmen, but they don’t act like freshmen and they all hold their own on and off the field,” Van Gorden said.
The early season-success has also translated into individual awards for players.
Kylie Wright, Van Gorden and Miranda Fish recently gave Castleton a sweep of the Little East Conference weekly awards.
Wright was named pitcher of the week after going 3-0 with an impressive 1.11 ERA in 19 innings. The Newport, Vermont native also batted .417 with seven runs batted in. She said the trip to Myrtle Beach “helped bring the team together.”
Van Gorden was named player of the week going 10 for 20 with seven extra base hits and seven runs batted in during her seven appearances. The decision to join Castleton was easy for Van Gorden after being redshirted at Oklahoma her freshman year and then transferring to Concord College, which was nine-hour commute for the Stillwater, New Jersey native. Van Gorden had originally verbally committed to Castleton when coming out of high school.
Through nine games, freshmen Miranda Fish leads the team with a .462 batting average and eight hits on the year to go along with eight runs batted in. Fish’s journey to Castleton wasn’t easy as she was told by previous coaches that she didn’t have what it takes to play softball at the college level.
“It just gives me motivation to perform,” she said