Don't count out these Bears
Bowdoin softball extended its win streak to five games last
weekend and heads to the NESCAC tournament at Williams tomorrow.
Last Saturday, the Bears clawed and scratched at Trinity,
coming from behind to win both games in the doubleheader, 2-1 and 9-2.
The first featured Jessie Poulin '02 on the mound for six innings, with
Erin Hanley '04 swooping into the game in the seventh to pick up the win.
Senior Jessie Mayol started off the game-winning rally with
a dominating double. Jordan Alper '02 followed her up with a well-timed
walk and Katie Sheridan '02 came up huge again for the Bears, knocking
Mayol in for the winning run.
In the second matchup of the day, in front of a much-spirited
crowd, the Bears came through again in the clutch. Seniors Kristie Miller
and Emily Rizza capped a frenzy of Bowdoin activity at bat, picking up
On a cold, wet day, hands were frozen, feet sunk, and tears
were shed, but the Bowdoin women earned a berth in the NESCAC tournament
for the second year in a row.
The Bears came from behind to defeat Colby 5-4. Poulin pitched
her way to her 11th win of the season, setting the record for most wins
in a season. It marked her 29th career win, also a school record.
Early in the game, Bowdoin fell behind 4-1. A complete team
effort allowed the Bears to chip at the lead, aided by runs from Mayol
and Michelle Jackson '03.
In the bottom of the seventh, the score was 4-3. Rizza fought
the not-so-pleasant April showers and smacked a single, bringing the crowd
to its feet. Britney Carr '04 bunted and hustled it out to earn a base
hit. Again, Alper came up strong for Bowdoin by reaching base on a walk
and advancing the runners.
Rachael Gordon '05 lived up to her "Flash" nickname,
beating out a grounder to short and allowing Rizza to score, tying the
game. The Colby pitcher threw a wild pitch and Carr took advantage, slip-sliding
into home and sealing the game for the frozen white Beasties from Brunswick.
Peers describe Gina Laugelli as crazy, a born leader, and
a great pitcher; "the epitome of a great captain." While she
has been known to tell off maids at sketchy motels, and claims that "Dawn
made us do these horrible sit up exercises and I cheated all the time,"
Gina truly is an inspiration in her softball accomplishments, and believes
that "any team can be beaten on any given day."
Katie Sheridan was a late addition to the team, joining
as a sophomore. She is known as an "animal," but also as a fun
sidekick to the pitchers and a versatile athlete. Poulin says, "Geez,
I don't know what I would do without Katie. She's the smartest catcher
I've ever had. She wants to win and does whatever she can."
One of Emily Rizza's favorite memories came last year during
the NESCAC tournament. "We sang at the top of our lungs; a cheesy
rip off of a cheesy song, but everybody was there
.We were prepared
to go out with so much confidence, like we had nothing to lose. There
was such a feeling of togetherness." Rizza herself is known as both
"easy to embarrass" and "exactly what every teammate and
coach would want in a player."
Michelle Jackson will be abandoning not only the seat of
fundraising guru and the "voice of reason," but also that of
the second basemen who perfected the "Jackson Double Play."
She is the heart and soul of the team, saying "I truly believe that
you should hang out and bond with your team off the field. And always
keep long underwear, a hat and gloves in your bag. Maybe even a raincoat
and hand warmers."
Jessie Mayol would, according to two sources, admittedly
"eat shit if it was fried." Needless to say, teammates view
the shortstop (who loves to fake a throw to first and catch the runner
as she tries for third) as both "unique" and "full of energy."
Known for her athletic ability and willingness to "always cross the
line.""Every year, this softball program has become stronger
and stronger," she says.
Kristie Miller, with a large base of fans who love her home
runs, will be remembered as a fantastic batter and competitor, but also
as the girl who "wouldn't tell anyone she had a migraine and she
couldn't see out of one of her eyes because she didn't was to complain."
Both a rock and a person who is "funny in a weird, witty sense,"
her strength also lies in the way she "keeps a straight face when
trying to trick you into believing something."
Jordan Alper is the lone pure outfielder of the pack, and
in fact, the entire team-making key her "focus, playing with the
dandelions, and being cold," she says. She is described as "a
true softball player, making crazy catches and possessing a hitter's attitude."
Miller remembers, "I was very intimidated by her as a freshman, then
I realized I was much taller."
Jessie Poulin gained the title of "odd duck,"
but "she'll take one off the shin in the exact same spot six times
and still throw the runner out," Rizza says. Poulin has the ability
to make everyone laugh, and all who have seen her pitch will most miss
what is forever known as "the Grunt." You can run, you can hide,
but you can't escape "the Grunt."
These eight individuals forever changed the program. The traditions they leave and the ideals they represent are as permanent as the records they have set. Laugelli sums it up: "The collectivity of the class is an honor to be a part of. It was this freak accident that we were all thrown together and I feel truly fortunate and lucky to be a part of the eight."