Returning from two weeks of intense training in Minneola, Fla., the Bowdoin softball team is ready for spring to travel north with them. After beginning its season in Minneola with five consecutive victories, the team returned to Brunswick with an overall record of 11-5.
The annual training trip proved to be especially valuable this year as the team, which posted a 31-12 record and finished as the runner-up in the NESCAC championship last season, seeks to build on its success after graduating six integral players.
Having added only three first-year members, the team is learning to adapt to a contracted roster of only 13 members.
“We have many players in new roles or at least expanded roles in certain positions,” wrote Head Coach Ryan Sullivan in an email to the Orient. “The lack of experience at times caught up with us , but we made improvements throughout the trip and expect to continue [doing] so during the rest of the season.”
Small roster aside, the team benefits from both offensive and defensive depth, Sullivan noted.
“One of the best things about our offense so far this year is our ability to strike at any part of the lineup, literally 1-9 we can score runs,” Sullivan wrote “That depth on offense really helps.”
The trip was punctuated by a no-hit performance by Sam Roy ’19 on March 19 against Framingham State, only the fourth no-hitter in program history. While posting ten strikeouts, Roy surrendered just a walk in the seventh inning, Framingham’s only base runner of the game. The Polar Bears went on to win 3-0.
“No-hitters don’t happen all the time, so it was an amazing process to watch her complete,” Sullivan wrote. “Sam has worked very hard over her four years and to see her development is pretty cool.”
Sullivan also noted outstanding individual performances from outfielder Caroline Rice ’19 and infielder Sam Valdivia ’19 down the stretch.
“Caroline Rice, Sam Valdivia and Sam Roy were so consistent with their play in Florida that their experience really showed for younger players,” wrote Sullivan.
Back in Brunswick, the players are hoping to stay hot as they open conference play tonight in the first game of a three-game series against Trinity (7-3) despite the snow. The Polar Bears’ first home game is scheduled for April 5 against Tufts.