Softball Begins Season at 4-4, Expects Playoffs in 2010

By AJ Martelli

The lady Mavericks softball team recently returned from the annual Coco Expo from Cocoa Beach, Fl. The squad went 4-4 on the trip to begin the 2010 campaign and the ladies are expecting a winning upcoming season.

“The tournament this year was very unorganized,” said junior infielder Paige Cauley. “The schedules changed too much. We were supposed to play a game at 1 p.m. and we did not end up playing until 5 p.m. It was not very pleasant.”

Along with the scheduling issues, inclement weather affected the lady Mavs. According to Cauley, March 5 through March 7 was “fine, just very windy,” but the team was “washed away” the last two days they spent in Florida

On March 5, Mercy split a doubleheader with Eastern University. The ladies dropped a 16-6 decision in game one, but came back with a 1-0 shutout victory in game two. Cait Rohme tossed a complete game while Cauley drove in the lone run for the team.

The next day, the lady Mavericks swept a doubleheader, defeating both Northwestern University and Carlow.

The ladies also handed a huge, 18-1 loss to Southern Vermont on March 10. For Cauley, the win was nice but she was not convinced it was a sweet victory.

“I can’t say the win over Southern Vermont was very hard-fought,” she stated. “They didn’t look very good, so I can’t truly say it was a great win. Not one of the games in the tournament really stands out as being different than the rest.”

Although enjoying a good amount of success, Cauley noted that March 7 was a rough day, as the lady Mavs were swept in a doubleheader. Upper Iowa beat the Mavericks 7-4 in game one and Itasca gave them a 6-5 loss in game two.

“On Sunday we had two bad games,” Cauley said. “We were off Monday, March 8, and had practice and team bonding the following Tuesday. Overall, I think we really meshed well together on the trip but we didn’t play as well as we expected.”

Cauley sees the team much different this year as compared to last year, noting the increased number of players. In 2009, the team only had nine or 10 players, but this year the team is made up of 15 girls.

“We have a younger and now stronger team and we all get along very well,” she said. “Our goal right now is to enjoy our season, play well, and I think we will all mature. Our coaches also feel our confidence level has gone up since last year with the addition of new players.”

Looking ahead to the upcoming regular season, the lady Mavericks are excited to begin conference play, which starts on March 27 vs. Queens. The team is looking forward to match-ups with East Coast Conference rivals and wishes to play better against their opponents this season.

“C.W. Post might be our focal point this year,” Cauley said. “They beat us last year and so did NYIT. We would like to come out a lot better this year and have a better attitude about our chances against them.”

In terms of the team’s goals for the end of the season, Cauley would like to see the lady Mavs in the playoffs. This year there will only be four teams from the ECC represented in the end-of-season tournament, a change from the six-team tournament played in past years.

“There are only four teams in the playoffs this year and we want to be there,” she said. “NYIT, C.W. Post, and Dowling are most likely going to be three of the teams that make it. We and the rest of the conference are going to be fighting for that final spot in the tournament. We want it, so we are going to try and go get it!”