by Meaghan Cahill ’20
The Providence College Softball Team started their season off with a 2-3 record in the D9 Orange Blossom Tournament held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports in Kissimmee, Florida. PC won their first game 9-3 against George Washington University and ended their last appearance in the tournament with a 3-0 win over Bethune-Cookman University. The games in between included losses to Stetson University, LIU-Brooklyn, and Marshall University.
Providence College split the first day of the tournament with a win and a loss. In the first game against George Washington, Christina Ramirez ’18 pitched the full game with four strikeouts, and she only gave up seven hits and three earned runs. Emma Lee ’19, Mackensie Compton ’20, Paige Mulry ’18, and Nicole Lundstrom ’17 all contributed key hits to the game that allowed the Friars to get the win.
The Friars’ highlight of their 9-3 loss against Stetson University was Brittney Veler ’18, who went 3-3 up at bat with a home-run and two RBIs. The second day of the tournament consisted of two losses for the Friars to both LIU-Brooklyn and Marshall University. Ramirez pitched a full game on the last day of the tournament. She not only had a shut-out win, but she only allowed one hit throughout the entire game.
With six starters returning from last season and six new additions to the team, the Friars should have a promising season ahead of them. Last season, they finished with an overall record of 21-28 and a Big East record of 6-14. The Friars will no doubt be looking to sophomore Lee this season, as she is coming off a very strong freshman season. During her debut season as a Friar last year, Lee started 46 games in right field and set the school record for a single season batting average with a .423, a number that lead the Big East Conference. Lee was also a Big East First Team selection and put up 60 hits in her first season, which was the second most hits on the team. The Friars also will be relying on their top pitcher from last year, Ramirez, as well as catcher Lundstrom, who led the team last year in both RBIs (42) and home-runs (four).
Looking ahead on the season, the Friars will be entered in two more tournaments before the regular season officially begins on March 18 against Holy Cross. This coming week, March 3-7, the softball team will be competing in the University of Central Florida Tournament. This event will consist of seven games for the Friars against UCF, Florida Gulf Coast University, and Stetson University. After the UCF Tournament, the Friars will play in the University of Southern Florida Tournament, where they will compete in five games against Monmouth-New Jersey, SIUE, Indiana State, Fort Wayne, and Western Michigan.
Providence will be looking to improve their record from last year in the Big East Conference, as well as prove many people wrong about their Big East predictions slating them to finish second-to-last, just ahead of Georgetown University. They will want to finish in the top four if they wish to compete for the Big East Championship.
While PC has not played in any conference games yet, their statistics from the D9 Blossom Tournament and the upcoming two tournaments have already affected the team’s ranking in the Big East. Currently, the team is ranked fourth, just behind Seton Hall, Villanova, and St. John’s. Their Big East season will open against St. John’s, who has already been picked to win the Big East Championship this year, at St. John’s on March 25.