Lady Hawks Looks Ahead

The New Paltz Women's Softball team finished off their season with a 14-26 record.
The New Paltz Women's Softball team finished off their season with a 14-26 record.

The Lady Hawks Softball team completed their spring 2012 season with an overall record of 14-26, accompanied by their 6-12 record in SUNYAC play.

The Hawks’ season began at the National Training Center Spring Games in Clermont, Fla. From March 17 to 22, where they competed in 12 games and went 4-8. The spring season concluded with back-to-back doubleheaders on the SUNY New Paltz turf against No. 11 SUNY Cortland and SUNY Oswego.

The Lady Hawks left the field with a winning game on Friday, but not making it to the SUNYACs was disappointing, Head Coach Denise Marchese said.

“The seniors are the most disappointed, they definitely expected more,” Marchese said. “But they never stopped working hard, and I thank them for all of their hard work.”

The Hawks were one of the youngest teams in the conference this season with eight first-year players, leaving the team with plenty of ideas for future improvement. Marchese said the team was hoping for more success at the start of the season.

Marchese said two of the team’s biggest issues were consistency and a lack of confidence. The practices, which tried to recreate the pressure felt in games, drive the players to play hard and reinforce their confidence.

Practices have become increasingly detailed so the team can figure out the mentality to bring into games, Marchese said. While the Lady Hawks “practice like rockstars,” it all means nothing if they lose focus on the field, she said.

Though many of the girls anticipate better fortune in the future, the seniors gave their tearful adieus to their teammates, wishing them well as they leave this chapter behind them.

Going into the season, the girls had high expectations and hoped to prove the preseason rankings false by making SUNYACs a reality for the team, fourth-year Shelby Martin said.

Though shocked and frankly disappointed by the turnout of their season, the experience has been a “great journey” that no one will soon forget, she said.

“A few obstacles we had to overcome were to put the ball in play in order to make something happen,” Martin said. “For next season the biggest hurtle I would have to say is executing. We need to practice like we play.”

Without much belief in the team from outsiders going into the season, Martin said it will be up to the next batch of girls to truly make a name for this team.

Fourth-year Co-Captain Samantha Barra said a big concern for the team going into the spring season was team chemistry. With new faces being introduced to an old family, whether or not the ladies would mesh well together was on everyone’s mind, she said.

“A big hurtle every year is adjusting to newcomers and to the new roles each player possesses,” Barra said. “Next season I want to see them be the underdog that takes on the big teams and have a successful season.”

The end of the season for the seniors has been bittersweet, Barra said, yet it was still fulfilling to finish out the season on the turf where many of the girls grew together as a family in their years at New Paltz.

“My advice to the team?” Barra said. “The time goes fast. Play in the moment and leave it all on the field each time your cleats hit the dirt.”