Despite the Rowan softball team only being able to play eight games last season, junior outfielder Morgan Zane was successful at the plate.
She totaled five RBIs, contributed with three doubles, scored eight runs and batted .289 on the season.
As for this season, Zane is making sure she is continuing to get reps and has been facing live pitching during practice to ensure another strong season at the plate.
“I really just have been trying to get the reps in, I mean at the end of the day that’s the main thing, just seeing live pitching early in the preseason,” Zane said. “Working on getting timing down, and just trying to make sure that we’re actually prepared to face an opponent.”
In order to prepare for the upcoming games later on this week, Zane has also been working on her skills in the outfield, and making sure that her and her teammates can make the tough plays.
“One of our biggest things is just working on the tough plays, the routine plays are just routine,” Zane said. “But really pushing ourselves during practice to make the tough plays, that’s going to be the difference, I believe, in having a successful season or just having an average season.”
Zane is hopeful that the Profs will have a successful season, and believes they are fully prepared for their double header on Thursday.
“I feel confident, I know the girls and I have worked really hard throughout the entire preseason, the coaches have done that to the best of their abilities to get us in shape,” Zane said. “We’re just practicing hard and I feel confident that we’ll be okay.”
The last time Rowan faced off against Washington College (Md.) was in 2016, where the Profs won 7-0. Overall they are 6-1 against Washington College and they average just above six runs a game.
As far as some personal goals that Zane would like to accomplish, this season she is focusing more on her leadership.
“If I feel like I need to work on more hitting and stuff like that, I can work… on my own,” Zane said, “but I feel like something I really rely on my teammates for, and a lot of their support, is trying to propel myself to be a leader and to try and make the team the best we can be all together.”
The team is heavily rostered with underclassmen. This season they have 13, and so far Zane says they have really stepped up and shown what they are capable of.
“They’re working hard that’s for sure, a lot of them I can definitely see that their hard work is paying off,” Zane said. “There’s been tremendous improvement just from the fall to the spring, and it’s great, I think they have a lot of potential and a great future.”
While most of the team is particularly inexperienced facing off against teams in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC), the upperclassmen have shown their leadership capabilities and Zane hopes to learn from them.
“Their leadership speaks for itself, whether there’s someone that’s on the field all four years, or whether they were somebody that just came up in clutch situations, and just played occasionally, their leadership throughout all of the upperclassmen has really been the main focal point,” Zane said. “And that’s something that I really want to learn, and I think I have pretty good teachers… because they’re great leaders and I look up to them a lot for more than I think that they would notice.”
Although Zane has been one of the Profs’ most successful players — being named the NJAC Rookie of the Year her freshman year, starting every game she’s played in her career and having a career batting average of .377 — she is also one of the team’s humblest players, noting what she thought was the best quality she brings to her team.
“I guess my best strength is I like to make people laugh, that’s definitely my favorite thing to do,” Zane said. “I try to keep the energy light, I just try to have fun and I want other girls to have fun too, the game is only as fun as you let it be.”
In the only full season of her career, Zane was a member of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) East All-Region second team, was named to the NJAC All-Conference First Team and led her team in RBIs.
Zane and her teammates feel confident heading into their first games of the season. They will head to Maryland to play the first four games of the season, three of which are against Washington College. They will then have their home opener on March 16 where they will face Muhlenberg College in a double header.
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