The Garnet softball team has experienced their fair share of highs and lows over the past several years. In the 2014 campaign, the team went a dismal 11-22 overall and 3-13 in Conference play, a bit of a letdown after their 19-19 campaign in 2013. The woes continued for the Garnet, as the struggles from the 2014 season spilled into the 2015 season. Although the team won the first three games of 2015, the rest was downhill from there. After their first three games, the team went 2-17 while winning one lone game in Conference play. A handful of season-ending injuries and departures forced the team to forfeit their last six games of the 2015 season. The team failed to improve, winning yet again one game in conference play in 2016. Over the past three years, the Garnet have a combined record of 22-65 while winning five total games in conference play.
However, team is ready to put their past struggles behind them, and are prepared to dominate the competition in the Centennial Conference this season. Previously, injuries and a small roster size prevented the team from having successful seasons. The team has eliminated this problem by bringing in a crop of six healthy and talented freshman after losing one senior to graduation. The roster size currently sits at 19, easily one of the largest rosters the team has carried in the past several years. Although it may seem like the team is characterized by its youth, it really boasts an advantageous blend of fresh blood and seasoned veterans. Sara Planthaber ’17 owns a career .302/.350/.380 slash line, and has driven in 35 runs during her time in the Garnet uniform. Her best season came in 2015, when she hit an impressive .403 while slugging .468. Planthaber’s 2015 batting average ranks eighth all time in the program’s single season batting average record.
Another impact-making member of the team is Marit Vike ’19. Vike, who batted at the top of the lineup last year, has already made a huge impact on the team. Vike batted an astounding .374 while slugging .409, both of which led the Garnet last season. She has already made her way into the program record books. Vike is the all-time single season leader in stolen bases and ninth in single-season hits.
Leadership on the field by upperclassmen is complemented well by the talent that the underclassmen possess. Outfielder Amanda Lopez ’19 swatted .310 while swiping 19 bases in her rookie campaign. Lopez and Hannah Thompson ’19 are defensive specialists, combining for only nine total errors in their rookie campaigns.
The infield for the Garnet is also young and talented. Offensive threat Elizabeth Curcio ’19 looks to destroy Centennial Conference pitching while also manning-down the infield.
The Garnet pitching staff is one of the deepest the program has ever seen. Last year, the staff split the pitching duties between four players: Emily Bowman ’18, McKenzie Ward ’19, Mary Olesnavich ’18, and Frankie Ponziani ’18. The Garnet will retain these four members while also adding freshmen Marisa Mancini ’20 and Gabriella Natoli ’20.
To open up the season, the team will host a doubleheader against Wesley College, then will travel to Ft. Myers, FL for the Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic. The team will start Conference play shortly after their trip to Florida.