After concluding the month of March with a 2-10 record, the softball team has won 12 out of their last 16 games. Most of the wins have been against State University of New Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) opponents.
Hawks first-year interim head coach Samantha Miller says that the team hasn’t changed what they’ve done to improve their record during the month of April. She attributed individual efforts from the players to the team’s recent success.
“One of the major factors in our recent success is the fight within our team,” Miller said. “The motivation each individual has encouraged the athletes to be more competitive, both during practice and in games. We just want to be better.”
The Hawks are currently on a four-game winning streak, with shutouts against The College at Brockport and Mount Saint Mary College, respectively.
The Hawks’ pitching and defense has been strong in April, with New Paltz scoring 64 total runs and giving up 32 runs in the process.
On Saturday, April 11, the Hawks swept a doubleheader against Brockport at home on Senior Day. The Hawks won the first game of the doubleheader 3-2 in 10 innings after first-year second baseman Caroline Alicandri scored on a wild pitch in the 10th inning to give her team the win.
Third-year pitcher Lauren Cappello pitched all 10 innings, giving up two runs on nine hits. She is currently 11-8 on the season with a 1.94 ERA.
The Hawks dominated Brockport in the following game, scoring one run through five innings and then scoring six additional runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Fourth-year outfielder Fallon Spriggs was credited with the game-winning run, scoring an unearned run on a passed ball in the fourth inning.
“We have emphasized being better than the previous day and as we’ve progressed through our season,” Miller said. “We continue to learn from the mistakes we have made and then work on the little things. At the beginning of the season, I stressed the little things that win games and the little things that lose games.”
The Hawks have eight games left in the season, all on the road. Even with their improved record in the month of April, Miller feels that the team still has more to show and improve on this season.
“The team has come a long way in such a short period of time, which is motivating because they have not even peaked yet,” she said. “As a first-year coach, it’s revitalizing because I know we are getting stronger and smarter as we go. I am excited to see what the future holds for this team and for years to come.”
New Paltz currently sits in second place in the conference, with an 8-4 record in SUNYAC play. They sit two conference wins behind SUNY Cortland for the top spot.
They will go up against SUNY Cortland on Friday, April 21 on the road. Those games are scheduled for 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. starts.
“The key to success is to concentrate on the task at hand,” Miller said. “Taking one day at a time. During the games, whether we’re on defense or offense, we know the team that executes the best will most likely be the team to walk away with the win.”