May 28, 2017

Softball Continues to Show Promise

Nicholas Crenshaw ’20/The Cowl

by Ethan Ticehurst ’18

Under sunny skies this past Sunday  the Providence College Softball team split a doubleheader with the Seton Hall Pirates. This doubleheader was the culmination of a three-game weekend series, which started on Saturday with an 8-7 Friars win. It was a good weekend for the team, as they managed to win two games in front of a rather large home crowd.

With the season coming to a close within the next month, the Friars stand at a record of 17-23, with a record of 5-10 in the Big East. This season is proof of a continued improvement in the softball program here. In 2014, Friars softball won six games. The next year, they improved to win 16 games while last year they managed to win over 20 games. This season, they seem on pace to have one of their best seasons in a while with nine games left.

When attending one of their home games, it is easy to see the teamwork that drives this team to success. Each person out on the field has a role and they perform it well. It seems that any one batter can change the outcome of the game when they step up to the plate. There is a sense of optimism that surrounds Glay Field these days.

This optimism has been shown to not be misguided throughout the year. The Friars have a few quality wins under their belt, the most impressive of them being against Butler a few weeks ago, with the Friars invoking the mercy rule in a 14-6, five inning game.

The focus of this team seems to be on their collective performance, but some individual performances have spurred this team to new heights. Perhaps the most noteworthy of these is the performance of Emma Lee ’19. She has been named to the Big East Honor Roll multiple times this year and has an impressive .360 batting average. She also spends her time on defense in right field, where she has a perfect fielding percentage. While Lee is the star of the outfield, the infield has a star in Vanessa Portillo ’19. Portillo has also been named to the Big East Honor Roll multiple times and has caught fire recently, hitting enough home runs to raise her slugging percentage to a staggering .532.

Overall, fans of Providence sports should start to look at the softball team as a team on the rise. It can be hard in Friartown for any sports team other than basketball or hockey to gain any notoriety, but some teams are starting to gain stronger reputations on campus. Softball is one of those sports that looks close to gaining a strong reputation. They have continued to improve throughout the years and look to be only a few years away from some sort of continued success. Fans would do well to take a trip down to Glay Field sometime in the next two weeks to catch a glimpse of the next great Friars sports team.

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