Softball team gains new coach and confidence

The distinct ping echoing from the athletic field that only occurs from the solid connection of bat on ball means that softball season has begun. Junior right-handed pitcher Emily Sweeney assures that Castleton softball fans will be hearing that delightful ping a lot this year.
“We have a good team dynamic, everyone gets along and really appreciates each other,” Sweeney said. “After practice there’s people hitting and pitching to each other, and that’s different from past years.”
This year is Chris Chapdelaine’s first year coaching softball after seven successful years  coaching only the women’s soccer team.
“It’s definitely a different sport, but I like it,” Chapdelaine said. “It’s not as fast paced, but you need to work as a team in the field and as an individual at the plate.”
Chapdelaine also brought on Castleton graduate Bill Manley, who played third base for the baseball team, as assistant hitting coach. Chapdelaine feels that he has already seen an increase in the team’s confidence when at the plate.
“He’s such a good teacher, all the girls benefit a lot from him,” Sweeney said. “He’s a good asset to the team.”
The North Atlantic Conference coaches’ preseason poll predicted Castleton to rank fourth in the conference.
“They think we’re going to be the same team we were last year, but I think we’re going to surprise everyone,” said junior right-handed pitcher Taylor Lively. “We have a lot of games to play in a short time, almost 40 in less than two months. We just need to stay focused. It is a challenge but we can do it.”
Chapdelaine said that both pitchers, Sweeney and Lively, have good relationships with the catchers. He feels that as juniors they are ready to step up, and he is confident the team will give them the quality innins they need.
The womens’ season began in Salem Virginia at the Roanoke Valley Softball Bash this past weekend.
Their first home game is against Skidmore College on Saturday, March 23, and their first NAC game is the following weekend at Green Mountain College.
“Husson is the team to beat this year,” Chapdelaine said. “We have the talent we need to be very competitive in the conference.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous post It’s sugaring season in New England
Next post Professor’s “Death Race” headed for reality TV