Softball season ends 15-1 in NAC
On Saturday, April 28 the Castleton softball team's season came to a close when it lost in the double-elimination North Atlantic Conference semifinals as they lost 4-0 to Husson. While the team did not take home the championship, it was a historic and successful season for the Spartans, who went 15-1 in conference play and 22-16 overall.
Senior Bridget Dusha said that the team has nothing to hang their heads about, pointing out that it is the team's first 20-plus win season since 2005.
"I'm proud that we made it that far. When I was a freshman we made it to the final four, but we lost in the first round, so we lost both games and went home in the same day," Dusha said. "Making it past the quarterfinals this year, and making it into the winners bracket, was a pretty big deal for us."
The Spartans beat New England College 6-3 on Friday in order to advance in the brackets and square off against Thomas College Saturday.
"It was just rough, our demeanor went down when Thomas scored. They scored first, and they scored early in the game," Dusha said. "Our demeanor dropped a little bit and we tried fighting back, and we scored and we started stepping it up again, but in the end we just couldn't close it out."
The Spartans lost to Thomas 3-1 and then went on to play first-seeded Husson, who proved to be too much for the Spartans, as they lost 4-0.
Junior Emily Sweeny is not discouraged, though. She feels confident about the team's abilities and is looking to the future.
"It was a successful season but it didn't end the way we wanted it to end," Sweeney said. "We're losing some key players that will be missed, but I think that we can still start where we left off. We're hard workers, so I think if we continue our hard work we'll just get better."
Sweeney gave some credit to the freshman for being so open and receptive to learning and improvement this season.
"I think the group of freshman that came in were really malleable. They just fit in with us very well," Sweeney said. "The attitudes and personalities just clicked. They're a really talented group too, so it was cool to have a talented group playing. It makes the game fun."
Freshman Stephanie Sylvester is convinced that the close bond between her teammates is key to winning and to the team's success.
"Coming in it was just, everybody was so welcoming, and it was just easy. I honestly think workouts made me closer to the team," Sylvester said. "We just spend so much time together during practice, and workouts and games that you kind of just started to make a friendship with every one and everybody was really welcoming, so it was easy."
Junior pitcher Taylor Lively was voted the NAC player of the year by the league's coaches.
She is the first Spartan to ever earn the title, and the second pitcher in NAC history to be named player of the year. Head coach Chris Chapdelaine was named the NAC softball coach of the year. Also Lively, Shannon Jipner, and Tori Fearon were chosen for the NAC All-Conference First Team.
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