By Kayla Regan ‘17
The Merrimack College Women’s Softball team just returned from their preseason trip to Myrtle Beach. This consisted of a Thursday-Saturday excursion lasting from February 18th-22nd. After their sixteen hour drive down to South Carolina, the girls played double-headers for three days in a row. Although their record was 2-4, the players and coaches have a lot of hope and confidence going into their regular season.
Head coach Elaine Schwager said, “Gaining playing experience and playing against the level of competition that we did was critical to our growth and development for this year. After playing in four 1-run games against great competitors, we now realize that we do belong with some of the best and should not only be talking about making an NE-10 playoff run but should be looking to qualify for an at large bid for NCAA’s for our region”.
After contending in these close games, Junior Captain Sammy Waskowitz says she is confident going into the season. She said, “This tournament showed us where we are and where our potential is”.
Junior Morgan Phipps also saw this preseason tournament as advantageous to their upcoming season. She said, “From a certain standpoint it gave us more exposure than other teams because now we have 6 games under our belt and other teams haven’t played any games yet”. Additionally Phipps was excited about what this tournament did for their new players. “We have a young team so it was good to give them a preview of the season and what games are like at the collegiate level”.
Aside from softball, Waskowitz and Phipps said that this trip was a great bonding experience for the team. The girls all stayed in the same hallway of the beachfront Ocean Dunes Resort. Although they did not have much free time, the team walked down to the beach to see the ocean or better yet the sunrise when they could. They also had two team dinners with their coaches.
Overall, the players and coaches had a positive experience in Myrtle Beach and Waskowitz hopes that this becomes a tradition for their team. But Phipps joked that if it did become tradition then they should start flying there.