Softball Sweeps Toward SUNYACS

Photo by Robin Weinstein

The Softball team ended their regular season on April 27, sweeping SUNY Oneonta in a doubleheader.

The ladies won their first game with a score of 2-1 before dominating the second with a final of 12-2 in five innings. With these wins under their belt, the team has secured the No. 5 seed in the 2013 SUNYAC Softball Championship Tournament, which starts Thursday, May 2, and runs until Saturday, May 4 at the College at Brockport.

With his first regular season as head coach at New Paltz completed, Tony Ciccarello said he feels great about the way the team has responded to him.

“I feel the team made some outstanding improvements in decision making and execution,” Ciccarello said. “They have developed a winning attitude and swag. They are starting to play with a playground mentality, something I stress in my coaching.”

The Lady Hawks are diving into the postseason with a 20-17 overall record and a 11-7 conference record. Ciccarello admits that the team must go in with the right attitude in order to win the title, something — given the conference — that can go anybody’s way.

“We qualified for SUNYACs for the first time in three years, winning 20 games, so now we have to go in with the attitude — we can win it,” Ciccarello said. “The way the conference is this year it is really anyone’s title to win.”

Even with a winning attitude, certain criteria must be met and the team needs to believe in themselves in order to reach success, according to Ciccarello.

“If we play our game, get some clutch hits and make a big play in the field, things can go our way,” Ciccarello said. “I have told them all season to play within themselves — they have as much talent as any team in the conference.”

Thinking back on this season, Ciccarello looks for ways the team can improve for the future.

“One big area we need to improve on is situational hitting and consistency,” Ciccarello said. “We had times when we played to the level of our opponent. We need to improve in this area and play our game of aggressive base running and putting the other team in conflict.”

Though saddened by losing key fourth-year players, third-year first baseman Chelsea Kull said she is hopeful the team will return to the postseason stronger and better next time around.

“Even though we are losing Melissa Liotta, a huge contributor to our offense and defense, we are returning most of the team and we hope to come back stronger and more experienced,” Kull said. “[My wish is] to reappear in the SUNYAC Tournament for the second consecutive year.”