Angelina Mayers ’23 is making the most of her final softball season at Bowdoin and currently leads the Polar Bears with a .443 batting average and .934 slugging percentage through her first 18 games of the season. She has led the team (9–9; 2–2 NESCAC) to victory nine times in 2023, including on March 14, when she hit a walk-off home run against Western New England University (10–4). Mayers is hoping to help lead the softball team to a deep NESCAC playoff run.
The team played against Western New England as well as 13 other opponents over spring break in Clermont, Fla., as part of its annual training trip to the Sunshine State. Mayers believes that the team’s trip is one of its most formative experiences each season.
“It’s usually the warmest weather we get to play in, and [the trip] is important to see where everyone’s at, [especially] the first years,” she said. “It’s also good for team bonding.”
Mayers added that seeing her team develop during preseason and the Florida trip has been very rewarding.
“I’ve seen the team grow a lot.… Last year we had a lot of Covid issues with losing people and people transferring, and we’ve gone from being a not-so-good team to a better team, which has been exciting,” Mayers said.
Mayers, who is from Bound Brook, N.J., has played sports from a young age, originally playing baseball with her brother, Leighton Mayers ’23, before switching to softball in third grade. Also a club swimmer in her childhood, Mayers focused on softball in high school before deciding to play collegiately.
After having her first-year season truncated by the onset of the pandemic and her sophomore season significantly curtailed due to strict Covid-19 restrictions, Mayers hopes to provide experience and leadership to a Polar Bears squad looking to improve on its 14–18 record from last season.
“My thought process is to leave everything on the field,” she said. “We’ve definitely done better this season. Last year, we didn’t really have a pitching staff, and we do now, and we’ve started off winning, which was not something we did last year.… We’ve hit a lot more home runs.”
Mayers also wants to see the team win more NESCAC games in 2023, after going 3–9 last season against conference opponents. The team is already close to matching its NESCAC win total from last season, splitting doubleheaders with Hamilton College (11–7; 3–1 NESCAC) and Amherst College (13–3; 1–1 NESCAC) last Friday and Sunday, respectively, to post a 2–2 NESCAC record.
Mayers is particularly excited for the team’s upcoming conference games, including a doubleheader against Bates College (6–4; 0–0 NESCAC) on Friday, April 7 in Lewiston. Beyond that, Mayers hopes the team can advance deep into the NESCAC Tournament, which will be held between May 12 and 14, and earn a place in the NCAA Tournament.
“I think we have that grit. If we play game by game during NESCACs … I think we can make it,” Mayers said.