Despite splitting a doubleheader against Brandeis last Saturday, the softball team is optimistic about the upcoming NESCAC playoffs this weekend at Tufts.

The Polar Bears won the first game against Brandeis 3-0. Melissa DellaTorre ’14 only gave up one hit on the mound, pitching perfectly for the first three innings.

In the second game, Bowdoin was ahead until three Polar Bear errors contributed to five runs for Brandeis in the third inning. 

Head Coach Ryan Sullivan said he does not believe the team played to its full potential in the second game.

 “We had a couple errors and there were a couple cheap hits, so it kind of all snowballed into a five run inning,” Sullivan said. “You can’t give opportunities to the other team and think you’re going to overcome them.”

Captain Gen Barlow ’13 said the team’s errors had a substantial effect on the outcome of the second game over the weekend.

“They had a really good slapper that stole a lot of bases, so that was some extra pressure,” she said. “We threw the ball around a lot in the infield. And one time, the ball flailed a little bit on us and went into left field, which cost us a bunch of runs.”

Still, Sullivan said he thinks the lone loss to Brandeis is not reflective of the team’s skill.
“Mistakes happen. It’s hard to be perfect all the time in any sport,” Sullivan said. “The important thing is how you come back from it the very next pitch or the very next play.”

Bowdoin, the No. 2 seed in the NESCAC East Division, will play Middlebury on Friday in the first round of the NESCAC tournament. The winner will continue on to play either Tufts or Wesleyan on Saturday, depending on the winner of that match.  

Barlow said that one advantage of  playing Brandeis was that it is a great preparation for the upcoming Middlebury game.

“Brandeis had a lefty pitcher that gave us some trouble, but Middlebury has a lefty pitcher who’s very good as well,” Barlow said. “So seeing her is definitely going to help us against Middlebury.”

The Polar Bears have not yet played Middlebury this season, but lost to them in the elimination round of the NESCAC tournament  last year. 

“I think last year we weren’t mentally prepared for their pitcher. I think we were physically prepared, but we didn’t make the adjustments we needed to,” Barlow said.

Bowdoin won against Wesleyan (8-4) on March 4, and lost all their games to Tufts in a three-game series on April 5 and 6.

“Everybody at this point is really good, so you have to play well,” Sullivan said. “You have to take advantage of any mistakes they make and you have to limit your mistakes. And that’s going to be the nature of the outcomes of the games coming up, for all four teams that are going to be there.”

While the team is not adapting its practice routines much in preparation for the playoffs, it is putting a special focus on bunt coverage, backing up and communication after the game against Brandeis. 

“We’re trying not to overanalyze it,” Sullivan said. “We don’t want to slow ourselves down by thinking; sometimes you just have to go out there and play. Our chore right now is to relax, and try to enjoy the environment and the experience.”