By Emily Thibodeau Contributing Writer
The UMF softball team recently returned from their spring training trip in Kissimmee, Florida, and played eight games in the surrounding area. Out of the eight games, the team came out with one win.
Kiana Thompson, UMF Senior Community Health major and minor in Coaching, said, “the
score didn’t show how well the team played.” The Beavers played other college teams that play year round. “We had plenty of chances to pull through with a win but we fell short,” Thompson said. “Throughout the week, we made huge improvements and minimal errors and that’s what we were looking for.”
Thompson didn’t take these losses to heart, but appreciated “this experience going down and hitting the dirt before our conference play starts up was so important and beneficial.”
Brianna Dugan, a Community Health and Education major, has been playing softball for over 12 years and looks forward to playing for UMF. Dugan said, “I’ve been impressing myself since I haven’t played softball in two years.” Dugan plays right field and said she’s “impressed with the teams dynamic, good connection with the ball.”
As the Beavers got away from the snow, Dugan said the weather was “always sunny but windy which made for good playing conditions.” The team was ready to be back on dirt as, as Thompson put it.
“The sun was shining and we weren’t in snow or the gym. Wasn’t the typical warmest Florida weather we were looking for but it was perfect to get outside and play in dirt,” Dugan said. “Considering this was the first time we saw dirt [this year] I think we did decent, and it was relieving, and nice to not be in the cold and snow.”
Their free time away from the field was spent at the shopping and relaxing. The team was able to spend a lot of time getting to know each other; Thompson said they “did a lot of team bonding which was good because of our team being so young.” The te
am cooked every meal together at the nine-bedroom house they stayed at.
Team manager and Early Childhood Special Education major Alyssa Morin assisted the team with bat checks before the game and kept the playbook during the game.
“The bats used during the games can only be certain ones on an improved list.” Morin said. “I feel good about the upcoming season.”
The team is looking forward to the upcoming season. “We have a lot of potential and room for growth,” said Dugan. “Since there’s only five returning players and 22 total players on the team, I’m excited to see where this season goes, with all the newbies.”
“Having Coach Kat come in last season, we made improvements that I haven’t seen in awhile, and with another year under her belt with returners, I am so excited for what our potential is going to be this year,” Thompson said. “Our conference play is going to be tough but I think we’re going to surprise a lot of people because of what we have to show. I’m looking forward spending my last season as a Beaver with this group of girls.”
The Beavers’s first game was March 23 in Newbury, Massachusetts. You can support them at their first home game on Saturday, April 21, versus Lydon State.