Last year, Rowan’s softball team had their season abruptly canceled while they were competing in Florida due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This season, they were unsure if they would be able to step onto the field again.
Now that spring sports are officially happening, the softball team is excited to get back on the field and show what they have been working on during the ample amount of time that they have had to practice.
Junior Korie Hague, who played third base for the Profs last season, described how prepared she feels entering the season.
“I feel very prepared, in the NJAC [New Jersey Athletic Conference] Rowan has definitely had the most practices,” Hague said. “We’ve been practicing since the end of January, as soon as the semester started we started practicing right away, we’ve been going pretty much six days a week, and we have been getting in as many reps as we can.”
Even with all of the uncertainty of not knowing whether they would be able to face off against other teams, the softball team has continued to be motivated and their coach has taken notice.
Coach Kim Wilson, who is entering her 25th season at Rowan, describes the team’s resilience during these unprecedented times.
“They’re fairly resilient on a daily basis,” Wilson said. “I thought we did a good job in the fall challenging them and getting them going on the right track, so that we could step on the field and be successful right away.”
As for what they are focusing on during practices, Wilson emphasized working on the fundamentals, which will contribute to them having strong fielding, pitching and hitting.
“Just basically working on the fundamentals, and going out so that we can play a good brand of softball at Rowan,” Wilson said. “Offensively strong, defensively sound, and get good pitching.”
Hague, who batted .550 and totaled 11 hits in 20 at-bats last season, described some goals that she would like to accomplish this season.
“One goal that I set for myself that I would like to accomplish this season is to stay consistent at the plate,” Hague said. “And wherever I’m put on the field, to do my best job and to help my team.”
She also led the team with 11 RBIs, and explained how she would like to continue her dominance at the plate.
“A lot of it is mental, you just have to stay confident in yourself,” Hague said. “Make sure you see your pitch when you’re in [the batter’s box], and not just swinging at any pitch. I’ve been taking a lot of reps, listening to my coach, making the little adjustments in my swing to make myself better overall to help my team in any way I can.”
Wilson also discussed how her players are constantly motivated.
“Part of it is competition in practice, probably over half our team is new this year, so they were looking to earn a position and compete against the returners and the returners are competing against the younger kids,” Wilson said. “So it’s been just trying to set up as much competition as we can, and obviously we’re looking to gel as a team, and all of those things that we should normally be doing, but competition makes you better in practice.”
Some players might not be able to play, especially now with COVID-19.
“You never know with COVID, some people could be not on the field right away, so they have to prepare every day as if they are going to be on the field,” Wilson said. “Because you never know when your name is going to be called, everybody has to be ready.”
Wilson is just as excited as her players to see some action on the field. No matter the competition, she is excited for her players to go out on the field and give it their all.
“Honestly, it’s more about just getting to play somebody. Somebody in a different colored uniform would be really nice to play,” Wilson said. “I think we’re just looking forward to getting onto the field against somebody else for the first time.”
Hague, who is also extremely excited to compete again, reflected on last season.
“The biggest takeaway is to go out there in every single game and play like it’s your last game,” Hague said. “Because you never know, the next game is definitely not promised.”
The Profs’ first game will be March 13 against Washington College in Maryland, and their home opener will be a double header against Penn State Abington on March 18.
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