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Women’s softball faces game cancellations and season uncertainty, but holds on to hope

April 9, 2021

Women’s softball was set to open their season this past weekend with a three-game series against Colby. However, this series was cancelled suddenly on Friday afternoon. There is currently no plan in place to make up these games, and the team’s upcoming match-up against Trinity has also been cancelled.

“Several schools in the NESCAC East had health concerns regarding Covid last week and this left us without an opponent for this weekend,” softball Head Coach Ryan Sullivan wrote in an email to the Orient.

Though the softball games with Colby were cancelled, Bowdoin men’s hockey’s scheduled scrimmage with Colby this weekend proceeded as planned—Colby men’s hockey met all of the requirements for COVID-19 testing, while Colby women’s softball did not.

“We originally were supposed to play Bates that weekend, and that got shut down because they had a lot of COVID[-19] cases.” said outfielder Kasey Cunningham ’22 in a Zoom interview with the Orient. “And so the schedule ended up being switched around and then we were supposed to play Colby, and then someone on Colby’s softball team tested positive.”

As the only Bowdoin spring team with enough players living in-residence to begin an official season, women’s softball was set to play a five-weekend season this spring. However, the future of their season grows increasingly uncertain as more schools grapple with outbreaks of COVID-19. Bowdoin’s match against Trinity was supposed to take place this weekend, but this was also cancelled because of Trinity’s rising rates of COVID-19 cases.

“We might be playing Amherst [this weekend] because they were also off.” said senior pitcher and outfielder Ruby Siltanen ’21. “But realistically, we don’t know if/when we’ll be able to make up games, and at this point, I think we’ll just be happy playing one game—like just getting one game where we can have some sort of closure.”

Sullivan voiced disappointment at the cancellations, particularly in light of the hope that the team had held for the season given their official NESCAC schedule.

“This week was really hard for our team; after going through a similar experience in March of 2020,” Sullivan wrote. “In some ways it felt like reliving that disappointing time. I think we all understand that the health of our team and others is first and foremost, but it doesn’t mean we aren’t really hoping we can play.”

Since the campus status shifted to “yellow” status, the 11 players living on campus, or in residence but off campus, at Bowdoin have been able to practice in person together. They began by running drills in Farley Field House but have now shifted to practicing outdoors on the field as a team.

“I think right now the plan is just to keep practicing and see what happens. That’s what we’ve been doing … because we don’t know if we’re going to get to play, which is tough,” Cunningham said. “But we’re just trying to make the most of what we can, and if that means being able to practice—especially with our seniors—for the last time, then that’s what we’re gonna do.”

As a senior, Siltanen voiced similar gratitude for the time together with the team, despite the uncertainty of the season.

“Honestly, going into the semester I wasn’t expecting to play at all. Especially as a pitcher—I really love pitching—and I think getting back into that and just getting to practice—I’m already super grateful, and this semester has already exceeded my expectations,” Siltanen said. “I’ve still really enjoyed getting to play with my teammates and play the sport that we love, for however much time we can play it for.”


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