The softball team is on a six-game winning streak after going 13-3 over Spring Break in Florida. The team is looking to continue this success going into its first NESCAC series against Tufts, who beat the Polar Bears in the series last year.
However, according to Claire McCarthy ’18, competing in Florida is very different than competing at home.
“The NESCAC competition is super tough especially this year,” McCarthy said. “The competition in Florida is tough, but it is a different game here in the NESCAC.”
McCarthy believes that the distinct makeup of the team has contributed the most to its early success.
“I think it is mainly the depth of our team [that contributed to our success in Florida], up and down the order, all different class years. Everyone really showed up and was producing a lot,” said McCarthy. “We had a lot of different line-ups going on in Florida, and no matter who was out there, we had a chance to win.”
The team’s supportive nature also allows each teammate to perform her best on the field and will be important for the team’s performance moving forward.
“[We will continue this success by] just continuing to be the best that we can be when we are out there,” said McCarthy. “It’s hard when you don’t have a set line-up that you can fall into, so just being really open-minded and confident in ourselves and not being concerned if we sit out a game since our team is so deep—supporting each other and competing together instead of competing against each other.”
Caroline Rice ’19 said that the preseason plays a vital role in the outcome of the team’s season as a whole.
“It all starts in preseason for us,” said Rice. “The fact that we get along so well, [like] a smaller team, it is a family unit. We start in preseason making sure that everyone is communicating and everyone is comfortable with each other, and that really translates itself onto the field when we play because everyone trusts each other. We all play well and play as a unit, because everyone knows that everyone else has their back.”
Last year the Polar Bears had one of their most successful seasons to date—they made it to the postseason for the fourth time in five years and hosted the NESCAC Championship for the first time in program history. Although it has not begun NESCAC play, this year’s team is already exceeding Rice’s expectations.
“Our team last year was absolutely incredible,” said Rice. “We did things probably no one thought we could, which was amazing. I think this year is going to exceed that. We have five new first years and they are all incredible. We also have six seniors that are leading us, and I think this season is going to go even better than last year.”
Moving forward, the team’s long-term goals are winning the NESCAC championship and advancing to the NCAAs, but members do not want to get too ahead of themselves.
“NCAAs are a big [goal],” Rice said. “Of course we all think it is really important to take it one game at a time. Taking it step by step is a big thing for us. Our goal is to win NESCACs and get to NCAAS this year.”
The team will face Tufts this weekend and has high expectations.
“[Our goal against Tufts] is to beat them, but more specifically to sweep them,” Rice said. “We want to continue to focus on the details and take it each at-bat at a time. Our lineup is very strong up and down; everyone has been contributing, so [we want to] continue that.”
The Polar Bears will begin conference play at Tufts on Friday at 3 p.m. and will continue the series with a double-header on Saturday at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.