The Bowdoin College Softball Team lit up Florida in the team's annual spring trip, returning to Bowdoin with an 11-3 record, good for the best start in school history. After dropping their first two games, the team won 11 of 12, including their final eight games of the trip. Bowdoin plays their first games outside of Florida on Sunday, April 3 against Plymouth State at UMass-Dartmouth.
Sophomore pitcher Emily Nelson has headlined the recent eight-game winning streak, tossing four complete-game shutouts in five days last week en route to the NESCAC Player of the Week award.
Included in this dominant skein was a one-hit, 12-strikeout gem against Mt. St. Mary's, a 14-0 win for Bowdoin. Last year's NESCAC Rookie of the Year began her personal shutout streak against Union and also beat Albright College of Pennsylvania, a 6-0 win. Her most recent shutout performance helped Bowdoin edge rival Middlebury, 1-0, the most recent game Bowdoin has played.
Nelson leads the Polar Bears in most pitching-related categories so far this season. She leads the team in innings pitched (48.1), strikeouts (51), ERA (1.12), and opponent batting average (.167).
Caitlin Polistena has also made a mark for herself out of the bullpen. Although she has only started three games, she is tied for the team lead in wins with Nelson, and she also tops Bowdoin in winning percentage with a 5-1 record.
The strong offense is led by sophomore Jayme Woogerd. Woogerd leads Bowdoin with an outstanding .449 batting average which is paired with a .518 on-base percentage. The first baseman has driven in 12 runs and her seven extra-base hits lead the team.
Also starring for the Bowdoin offense thus far has been Danielle Chagnon '06. The shortstop leads the team in runs batted in and home runs, with 14 and three, respectively. She owns a .569 slugging percentage, trailing only Woogerd for the team lead.
Junior Megan Rodgers has also been excellent for the Polar Bears. The utility player is second among regular players in batting average and boasts a .400 on-base percentage. Senior captain Rachel Gordon has also excelled, spraying 12 hits.
Bowdoin has ridden both its offense and its pitching during the eight-game winning streak. During the streak, Bowdoin continued to swing hot bats, as they averaged 5.1 runs a game, slightly better than its season average. The story, though, has been the pitching. The Polar Bears allowed 1.5 runs per game on average, a figure greatly helped by Nelson's four shutouts.
If there has been a weakness on the team this year, it has been defense. Bowdoin has committed 24 errors in only 14 games this season, resulting in 15 unearned runs for the opposition.
Bowdoin owns the best overall record and winning percentage in NESCAC and, at five runs a game, has averaged more runs per game than every team except for Tufts, which boasts an impressive 6.8 runs per game average. Bowdoin's 2.6 runs allowed per game ranks fifth in the conference at this early point in the season. Bowdoin's conference season begins a week from tomorrow with a doubleheader against Trinity.
This week, Bowdoin plays a doubleheader against Plymouth State on Sunday, games which have been moved to UMass-Dartmouth because of poor field conditions. Bowdoin plays a doubleheader against UMaine-Farmington on Tuesday in the team's first home game of the season.