Softball Prepares to Get in Gear

Jason Campos

If spring is the season for renewal and a fresh start, then it coincides perfectly with the women’s softball program at UMass-Boston. Last year was a dismal one for the softball team. There were several instances when the team had to forfeit contests due to a lack of players. However, the roster should not be a problem, according to first year softball coach Gretchen Randall.

“The roster is looking good. I expect that we’ll have thirteen people on the team, so it’s definitely a step up from last year. We’re not going to forfeit any games this year.”

The bulk of the players are sophomores and juniors, but there aren’t that many returning from last year’s team. Randall noted that there were problems that left the program in bad shape, but that there is a renewed interest.

“For whatever reason, a lot of people decided not to play last year. From last year’s team, I’d say we have about one or two players. However, if we are talking about the year before, then I’d say that we have about six or seven coming back. We definitely have experience on the roster, whether it’s in high school or in college.”

The program has attracted two athletes that have never played organized softball. Although they may not have the most experience in the world, Randall appreciates the hard work and dedication that they have put forth so far.

“They’re learning very quickly and playing really hard. There’s no doubt that they’re going to be catching up with the rest of the team. But that’s okay.”

Three weeks of practice is of course not long enough to properly gauge what a coach has. Add to the fact that three of the team’s members just began to practice with the team last week due to their commitment to the woman’s basketball team, and the assessment becomes even more difficult. Nevertheless, Randall has seen enough to recognize what the team’s strengths and weaknesses are going to be.

“We should be strong on defense. And we’re going to need that because at the moment the team has only one experienced pitcher. That is something that we’ll have to overcome in order to win some games. It’s not going to easy, especially when it comes to doubleheaders. So some other people are going to have to step in and fill some roles that they’re not accustomed to doing.”

Despite the difficulties the team will face this season, an all around upbeat attitude will get the players up for the competition and focused on improving their skills. Randall also wants to convey to the team what she thinks is the most important aspect of sports.

“It’s a game and we’re going to have some fun, if nothing else.”