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Softball Season Preview

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Photo Courtesy of Charger Athletics

Photo Courtesy of Charger Athletics

Photo Courtesy of Charger Athletics

Chris DiGeronimo, Sports Editor

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Spring has almost sprung and that means it is almost time for softball season.

Last season the Chargers finished the season with an overall record of 30-16, with 19 of those wins coming from within NE-10 conference play. New Haven finished the 2017 regular season in third place behind Merrimack and reigning NE-10 Champions Adelphi. The Chargers will look for redemption this season as they were bounced in the first round of the NE-10 tournament in a heartbreaking 6-4 loss to Lemoyne. New Haven entered the NCAA DII East Region Championship as the No. 4 seed but were upset again in double elimination by fifth seeded Mercy and eighth seeded Wilmington. If there were ever a time to get revenge, 2018 would be the season to do it.

The Chargers will have 17 players returning to the roster in 2018 including six of eight NE-10 postseason award winners. This experienced bunch will look to live up to the hype as they were picked to finish second in the NE-10 Southwest Division preseason poll as voted on by the leagues 15 head coaches. New Haven received 71 total points and three first place votes in the poll.

As the Chargers take the field this spring, the task at hand may be tough, but the players believe there is enough talent around them to make a difference this season.

“I’m really excited for this season because we have so much talent on the field and at the plate. We have a target on our back from how well we did last year (in the regular season) and I’m eager to see how we respond to that,” said sophomore outfielder Catherine Vaughan who carries some hardware from the 2017 season.

Vaughan was the NE-10 Rookie of the week twice and was named to the NE-10 All- Conference Third Team and All- Rookie First Team in 2017. The Chargers will look to carry over their success from last season onto the field this season.

“We have a lot of returners this year and I think we’re just going to keep the momentum going from last year and have another awesome season. People will definitely see us as the team to beat and I have all the confidence in the world in this team,” said sophomore pitcher Megan Butts.

Butts was the NE-10 Rookie of the Year in 2017 and was also named to the NE-10 All-Conference Second Team along with NE-10 All-Rookie Team.

Junior infielder/outfielder Taylor Luzzi had a more modest approach to the upcoming season as she stated that the Chargers have to take it one game at a time.

“We are a very hardworking team and I believe that we will do very well this season. We take it one day at a time and give it our all so that we can be successful in the end. All we need to do is take it one game at a time. If we do that, I believe we will go much further this season,” said Luzzi.

To start the 2018 season, the Chargers will head down to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to compete in the Snowbird Freezout on Friday, Feb. 16. The Chargers will play five games throughout the weekend to help them jumpstart the 2018 season.

New Haven has had previous success in this tournament as they went 6-1 in both 2017 and 2016. The Chargers will play their first game on Tuesday, March 6 at home in a doubleheader against Queens College. New Haven will kick off NE-10 Conference play on Wednesday, March 21 as they take on Pace on the road.                  

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Softball Season Preview