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Polar Bear of the Week: Elise Siciliano ’27

March 29, 2024

Courtesy of Brian Beard
QUITE THE STAR: Elise Siciliano ’27 started her collegiate softball career strong over spring break games in Florida, batting .552 over ten games and scoring ten runs.

Elise Siciliano ’27 is already making her mark in her first collegiate softball season. Recently named NESCAC Softball Player of the Week—the first Bowdoin first year to receive the honor since 2018—Siciliano is ready for the rest of the season playing the game she loves.

The team opened its season over spring break in Florida, where Siciliano batted .552 over ten games, scoring ten runs with eight walks and ten runs batted in. In addition to excelling at the plate, Siciliano felt her fielding went especially well.

“I love playing the infield,” Siciliano, a shortstop, said. “So, as well as my hitting went, I was really proud of my fielding.”

In addition to defense and fielding, Siciliano loves the teamwork involved with softball.

“I also love that it’s such a team sport, so you make great relationships with your teammates,” Siciliano said. “Just being able to compete together is probably one of my favorite aspects.”

Siciliano said that the team’s tight-knit dynamic helped make playing together feel natural and fun from the start.

“Starting with the fall, we did a lot of team bonding stuff, so we got close early on,” Siciliano said. “Like, one time I know we did a baking activity. Being able to have that connection with my teammates is very important to me, so it just made it more comfortable transitioning into college and playing at the collegiate level.”

Siciliano added that, while she felt some nerves coming into her first season, her coaches reminded the players that many of them had already been playing older opponents for much of their lives, which makes the transition to college softball less daunting.

Growing up, both baseball and softball were central to Siciliano’s family, and she fell in love with the game when she first played T-ball in first grade. She cites one of her older brothers, a pitcher, for teaching her to stay true to herself, tune out distractions  and focus on taking it one game at a time.

“[My brother] just goes up there and gets the job done, and he doesn’t let many things bother him, which I admire a lot because it’s really tough. Baseball and softball are definitely mental-heavy sports. So, he’s definitely one of my biggest inspirations,” Siciliano said.

This attitude is reflected in Siciliano’s approach on game days, where she prioritizes taking time to get focused and prepare for games, often by listening to music. While in Florida, listening to country music in the van on the way to games became a pregame ritual for the team.

In addition to softball, Siciliano played both field hockey and ice hockey in high school. Originally, she was unsure which sport she wanted to pursue in college, but eventually realized that, as much as she loved hockey, she could not picture her life without softball.

“[My sophomore year] was one of my favorite summers playing softball, and that really solidified that I 100  percent wanted to play softball in college,” she said. “I can’t imagine not doing it.”

Siciliano looked at a number of schools, but Bowdoin stuck out to her when she visited in the spring of her junior year and met members of the team. When the coaches reached out later that summer after watching her play, she knew she wanted to be a Polar Bear.

“I loved the campus. It was beautiful, an amazing spring day,” Siciliano said. “I met a bunch of the players. I loved their personalities and everything, and I felt I really connected with the coaches.”

The softball team currently holds an 11–3 record, marking its best start to the season since 2018. Going forward, Siciliano said the players want to focus on giving their all every game and persevering through the end of games, especially as conference play begins.

“A big thing that we showed in Florida was our ability to battle, which I think was a really good trait to have. A couple of games we went down, but we fought our way back,” Siciliano said. “I think [the goal is] just keeping that up as a team and just taking each game day by day.”


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